New bracelets from the Lydia Store posted in the Online Store!
The Lydia Store was founded in response to a desperate need for empowerment and economic liberation for Dalit women. It is said in India that if to be a woman is to suffer oppression, and to be a Dalit is to suffer oppression as well, then to be a Dalit woman is to suffer an oppression more severe and thorough than most can imagine.
Current laws of India allow prostitution to thrive, but attempt to hide it from the public. Human Rights Watch puts the figure of sex workers in India to be around 15 million – the largest sex industry centre in Asia. However, in spite of this overwhelming oppression, there are groups within India that are working to empower, uplift and encourage these women to succeed.
The bracelets sold on this page are made by women at the “Lydia Store,” many of whom were themselves former victims of human trafficking and sex slavery. The Lydia Store is an initiative that trains Indian women to create many different products, such as bags, garments, jewelry, and much more. Many items made by the ladies at the store are made out of scraps of fabric that have been rejected and thrown away. These scraps then become beautiful, useful items. This symbolizes the vision of Lydia: to take the people rejected and thrown away by their own society, and change how they see themselves – as beautiful and useful – and as valuable individuals.
The Human Trafficking bracelet is just one of these many products made by the ladies at the Lydia Store, and one that we have decided to partner with them in selling abroad. Jon was granted the incredible opportunity to personally visit the ladies at the Lydia Store, and after hearing their stories and their dreams for the future, we decided to join hands with them in making this vision a reality. This bracelet is designed to symbolize the darkness and bondage of trafficking in India. We hope this bracelet reminds you of the plight of many women and girls in India who have been or will be trafficked.
BREAK THE BONDAGE!
Center Stone = Weight of bondage
Black Cord = Tied to a life against one’s will
Earth Tone Beads = Color signifies life lived in a low state imposed by others