Who are the Dalits?

For over 3000 years the Dalits – or Untouchables – have been positioned at the bottom of Indias' society and are subject to the most aggressive and dehumanising abuse. They are born into a culture that devalues them from birth with society considering them lower than animals. The term ‘Dalit’ literally translates to downtrodden or oppressed and there are 250 million Dalits who are exposed to this injustice.

What is the Caste System?

Your caste system embodies a belief that men and women are not made equal and that by birth, your caste determines your opportunities and future. Hinduism states that the four castes originated from four parts of the body of the god Brahma. The Brahmin or priestly caste proceeded from Brahma’s head, the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vaisyas from his thighs and the Sudras from his feet. Far beneath the Sudras are the Untouchables  or Dalits who were rejects from the social order  altogether, being not made by God.

How did Life Association begin?

Around 20 years ago, Simon Hawthorne and Paul Morley visited Uttar Pradesh, one of the most backward states of India, and fell in love with the people of this amazing country and their children. They also experienced first hand the injustice suffered by the Dalit people and it has been their passion to provide education and support in any way they can ever since.

How can the injustice of the Dalits stop?

Apartheild came to an end through a movement of people of many nations with one voice and one message – that apartheid is wrong. We believe that the injustice of the Dalits is the biggest human rights issue in the world today. It will take a similar movement of ordinary people to tackle this extraordinary oppression that has affected millions of people for thousands of years.

For further information about the Dalits download our free ‘The Dalit People’ booklet here.