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.
I used to work in agricultural fields as a daily wage labour. I used to get 100 rupees per day ($ 2) when I work. Agricultural works are seasonal and half of the year there is no work. Even when I have work, I had to work under hot sun and sometimes even when raining. I had to drink whatever the water we could get on fields. It is not healthy. But I had no choice.
Being a Dalit (Untouchable) my life is even worse. We live outside the main village and treated very less. I always thought about breaking the poverty that trapped us for generations. But by working as daily wage labour, there is no way I can. But I got the opportunity through Promise Bags.
My life is good, now it is very good. Sometimes I remember I was working in extreme weather condition without much break, sweating and harsh words of landlords. I've given up the hard long days of labour. Now I have freedom and peace.
I learned to sew bags. At first I was very frightened, I couldn't make good bags. I was given extra time to learn and someone sat with me for days helping me - now I can make bags. I have learned to sew all the different parts of the bags.
I like work, it's good. I was very frightened, but now I have no fear and no worries. I can sew now, my wage is better too and my son has good food and is growing up well. He's learning to read and write well. My husband also helps me.
The women of Promise Bags have incredible dreams for their children, and we are passionate about partnering with our employees to ensure brighter futures for their children. Any employee can enrol in this program by contributing 50% of their child’s annual expenses while Promise Bags contributes 50% of the annual expenses.
When you buy a Promise Bag, you are participating in latest fashion trend by helping to create jobs for the Dalit women and offer them hope and freedom for a better future.
Promising Hope and Freedom through Business