"Have you ever heard of the Dalit community of India before?"
Have you ever heard of the Dalit community of India before? If not, you most likely would have heard of the “untouchables”. Dalit is a Sanskrit word which translates as “oppressed” or “downtrodden” and is used to address the untouchables in India. These people hold the lowest status in the Indian caste system which means they are alienated from the rest of society and live in the poorest conditions. At present, there are around 250 million Dalit people facing these injustices.
For thousands of years, the Dalit people have been forced to drink out of clay pots and then smash them on the ground to signify their supposed untouchability. With the help of the charity, Life Association, the Dalit community have been able to create candles in clay pots to pave a new life for themselves. The very symbol of their oppression has become a means to improve their lives.
Dalit candles are hand-crafted by this community in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai. The money from each purchase is reinvested back into the Dalit community and used towards funding education, healthcare and orphanages.
Dalit candles have a high ethical and environmental standard, they are plastic-free and 100% biodegradable, from pot to packaging. The candle itself is made with a mix of beeswax and vegetable wax and a cotton wick, plus the clay pot which can be reused or composted. Making the candles and packaging provides much needed employment to the Dalit people, especially vulnerable women who otherwise would struggle to earn an income.
We love Dalit candles for their fantastic scent and their classic earthy design. Behind them is a story of hope and resilience which makes us love them all the more.