Did you know that 1.1 billion people call India home? Today, a surprising 25% of the population lives in perpetual poverty due to 3,000 years of caste oppression. This segment of the population, known as the “Untouchables” or Dalits, has few employment opportunities outside of their traditional occupation (usually manual scavenging or bonded labor). No one in society believes they should be helped; their condition is thought to be a result of karma due to sins committed in a past life.
This gift will provide a kit of basic tailoring tools and cloth for one woman in a tailoring training center, enabling her to begin learning and practicing her new trade immediately. Contributing to sustainable economic development initiatives is a critical component of the Dalit Freedom Network’s (DFN) mission to partner with the Dalits in their quest for religious freedom, social justice, and human dignity by mobilizing resources. Throughout India, vocational training centers are offering Dalit men and women a dignified escape from the hand-to-mouth lifestyle that has characterized their communities for millenniums. In addition to meeting a practical and immediate need, this gift will give a Dalit woman the opportunity to take pride in her work, provide for her family, and encourage hope about the family’s economic future.