Dignity for a Dalit
Dalit Economic Fund
Dalits live a difficult hand-to-mouth lifestyle, and are often burdened with high-interest debt to landlords, doctors, grocers, etc. A family in the Indian state of Punjab recently requested the Dalit Education Center curriculum to home school their 6-year-old daughter. When a teacher visited the family to find out why, she discovered that economic need was the root problem. The daughter had to stay home with two younger siblings while mom & dad worked for a combined daily income of $1.
But the story isn't finished. Dalit Freedom Network trained the father to drive a bicycle-rickshaw, leading to increased income so the mother could stay home and the daughter could attend school. As this story illustrates, the gifts that make up the Dalit Economic Fund are wisely used to contribute to the economic independence and stability of Dalit families in India. DFN's Self-Help groups provide money-management training coupled with fair-rate loans that jump-start business ventures (and provide jobs for other Dalits). Vocational training makes the dream of a stable income a reality; we teach tailoring, bicycle repair, and basic computer skills. DFN currently has self-help groups involving 5,000+ families in more than 250 communities. These groups, consisting of the poorest-of-the-poor, have proudly saved over $50,000! Give a Dalit man opportunity to provide for his family, and give the gift of dignity. Give a Dalit woman the chance to learn to sew and start her own business, and give the gift of pride in one's work.