"Started in 1978 by David Edmunds, Palam Rural Centre was founded to improve the lives of people of the Harijan community in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally leather workers, they found little market for their products. Very poor and often exploited, they did not own land, suffered from illiteracy and ill health, and were underpaid working as seasonal agricultural laborers for large landowners. In the 1980s, the leather market declined with the rise in synthetic materials and with multinational corporations moving into Indian markets. After several years of experimenting with soap making, Palam Rural Centre diversified into vegetable oil-based soap production." - TTV
Artisans making products with the center receive health care and retirement pensions. With money from product sales, Palam has even purchased land and homes for artisans (ownership traditionally unavailable to lower castes) and built a school for artisans’ children. Through this work, Palam Rural Centre is providing dignity and security to artisans and helping to break down caste walls in society.
We have soaps from these artisans in the following scents: rose, melon, lavender, sandalwood, coconut, and cucumber. We even have the set of two that includes a basket and a scrubber!