AW Freedom Incense Range
10 p from the sale of this incense goes to the AW Freedom Fund. The objective is to teach English language to low income Indian workers to enhance their career prospects. It is hoped that each shipment of incense sold in the UK will raise over £10,000 for the workers in the Freedom Incense factories.
In Bangalore, along the maze of alleyways nearby you will find numerous incense factories many with impressive names and long heritages. From the villages around the city small trucks bring bundles of raw incense that has been hand rolled in essence by home workers. In the factories the incense is dipped in fragrance, counted in to bundles of ten or twenty sticks and packed in branded packaging. You might think this is a mechanical process, but actually it’s all done by hand. They get paid 150 - 200 Rupees a day - more than twice the Indian minimum wage, but still only about £2 a day.
- Firstly the physical workers (often skilled) who earn £1 or £2 a day and live in a social class that traps them there. This is about 70-80% of Indians.
- Secondly if you are educated and speak English you may earn £10 - £20 a day, and live in a middle class that affords a pretty good standard of living. But only because there is a plentifully supply of £1-£2 a day souls to cook and clean for you. The sad fact is there are slum dwellers in cities who work in nice houses for free, just to be off the streets for a few hours and get a decent meal (that they will most likely cook).
- Thirdly there is the professional and business class with access to either foreign, corporate or government money who earn western style wages but live in luxury well beyond the average western means, most of the businessmen in India have never ironed a shirt.
- Finally there are the rich, with private jets and huge estates. There are more millionaires in India than most other countries. Apparently there are a million of them in India.
Workers who have some education and crucially have knowledge of the English language could get a better rate of pay and escape the poverty they had been born into.
With this incense brand an extra 10p has been added into the margin at the UK end to a pack of incense and this will be sent back to India in the form of paid for English lessons. 12 incense packs will pay for an hour’s instruction for say ten workers. The factory will provide the space and hire a professional teacher, the workers will teach others their skills in return for lessons, so the factory will hopefully be able to recruit more skilled workers and act like a stepping stone to a better life.
December 2019 - Ancient Wisdom have now discontinued production of this range, available while our stocks last
NOW ON SALE TO CLEAR - WHILE STOCKS LAST