Introduction / History
The main occupation of the Chakkiliyan community is mending leather products especially chappals, shoes ,etc. Today, most of them in south india are well literate, occupying administrative positions both in private and public sectors.
Along with social groups associated with those who wash clothes for other Dalits, they are one of the most backward castes. Some work as night soil removers. Night soil is a respectable term for human waste. At some point in history, a whole class of people across India have been forced by violence and religious sanction into this terrible role. This is an outcome of lack of proper sanitation system throughout India's history apart from what was noticed in the Indus Valley ruins where houses were constructed with proper sanitation. In this aspect they have similar castes across India. The most notable one is Chandala and Bhangis of North India.
Due to their association with night soil, others have been reluctant to associate with them including other Dalit castes. But they are also used as general agricultural and manual workers across Western and Northern Tamil Nadu. They are usually live in a place that is apart from the main village as the other Dalits. Many place names in India and Sri Lanka are named for this community.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Very poor standard of living, low literacy rate among all lower castes.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Mainly Hinduism, some converted to Christianity.
What Are Their Needs?
Some have a great inferiority complex due to their occupation.
* Pray that God would give them good education and remove the slavery mindset.
* Ask the Lord to help them sense their worth and equality with others.
|Profile Source: Mohan Nitheesh|