One of the more confusing mysteries of India is her caste system. The caste system has existed for more than 3,000 years. The caste system embodies a belief that men and women are not made equal and that by birth, your caste determines your opportunities and future.
India is the biggest democratic country in the world with more than 1.2 billion population. Many things have changed in India since its Independence 70 years ago but not Dalit’s lives. Dalits comprise nearly one quarter of India, with population estimation of 300 million.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Indian Dalit hero and Father of Indian constitution said, “Ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of the human personality”
The term Dalits means those who have been broken and ground down deliberately by those above them in the social hierarchy. Dalits means "crushed, downtrodden or broken.” There are different types of discriminations against Dalits including: forced to live in separate settlements, not allowed to draw water from the village wells, prohibited from worshipping in Hindu temples. Dalits are assigned the most degrading jobs of cleaning public toilets and disposing dead animals. Dalits are treated as less than an animal in indian society.
We do this by providing employment in a safe, loving and caring environment. The women create beautiful leather bags while making their lives anew.
Our hope is that everyone who purchases a Promise Bags appreciates the skill, determination, respect, dignity and love that go into making each individual bag.
The most important thing for us is to empower our artisans, treat them with dignity and pay much better prices than working under hot son for long days on the fields.
Every bag you purchase helps to bring about a positive change in a Dalit family life.
Open up your bag to find out. Inside the bag, her story is attached in English with her own signature in her mother language Telugu underneath.Each a gem in her own way, we are privileged to spend our days with these courageous women.
Meet Rani, 25 years, discontinued her year 9 due to financial problems.
At the age of 15 my parents forced to marry someone whom she didn’t meet before. She has two girls. The family lives in a one room brick house. She used to work in fields as manual labor where her daily wage was 100 Rupees ($ 2). It wasn’t constant and very hard job.
Rani joined Promise Bags family two and half years ago.
I like the friendly atmosphere, but especially I cherish the dignity, respect and appreciation that we experience from working here. My dream is to build a nice house. Thanks to Promise Bags for giving me dignity and a dream.”
A bright young woman, with an infectious smile. Her dream is to become financially independent. She loves her work and brings fun to our workshop.
Rani specializes in quality control to make sure all details are taken care and delivers the good product.
Meet Kamala, 41 years, has two children.
She has been working for Promise Bags for 3 years now.
“My husband had passed away ten years ago. Then I started working as manual daily wage labor in agricultural fields. It was very hard job. I used to work very long hours on the field. I used to get 100 Rupees ($ 2) per day. If there was no work, then no money.
I love the good atmosphere at Promise Bags. Everybody talks to each other with respect. It’s a like one big family."
At first, she might seem reserved. But soon you will realise that Kamala is always laughing and joking around. Strong and determined, this woman is tough and knows how to fight for her freedom and her family.
Kamala specializes in edge painting; this is very specific job that she developed over the years of practice.
Meet Lakshmi, 22 years, discontinued studies due to family financial challenges.
At the age of 15 she was forced by parents to marry someone whom I didn’t meet or seen before. Her husband got killed from an electric shock while he was working on the electric pole. He was the main income source of the family. Once he died, our future became very dark. She was deeply depressed and had no idea what to do and how to look after two small children.
“I am enjoying working in Promise Bags. It gave me purpose for life and hope for future. Thanks to Promise Bag”
Lakshmi has been working at Promise Bags for last three years.
A determined, perfectionist, talented and hard-working woman. Her can-do attitude is contagious. She is our best artisan. She prides herself on making good decisions that will mean a better future for her family.
Her biggest dreams are to provide the best education for his children and to build a house
Promising Hope and Freedom through Business