When Malkit Chand Janagal was given one rupee as a tip for delivering a salwar-kameez to his mother’s client, he decided to try and double it by tearing the currency into pieces, planting the parts and watering it to make it grow like the garlic he’d seen multiply from the soil.
These are the stories that will provoke and pull your heart and head.
Born out of a survey of a thousand Dalit entrepreneurs, these stories shone through as slices of lives defined by their extraordinary successes despite childhoods seared oppression, discrimination and poverty. While recognising the limits of capitalism to sever the shackles of the caste system, the book shows triumph and possibility in the face of the impossible. India is changing; these stories extend a hand to the aspiring entrepreneur of any caste, but especially to Dalits. The authors are in the process of translating it into regional languages in an effort to get these stories into the hands of those potential business stars. This book gives you a glimmer of the light at the end of the caste system’s brutal tunnel.
Name: Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs
Author: Devesh Kapur, D Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad
Publisher: Random House
Price: Rs 299
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(This story appears in the 31 October, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)