runway, her sari billowing loosely and her hair pulled tight. As
fashion shows go, the sashay-spin-repeat sequence was fairly routine.
But the background of many of the models at this event on Wednesday
evening, held in a fourth-floor dining room at the United Nations, was
Known as Dalits, or "untouchables," the women have such a low social
standing in their native India that they are below the lowest rung of
the officially banned but still-present caste system.
In fact, this particular group of women — 17 on stage, an additional
20 or so in the audience, all with dresses that were pool blue, to
honor the official shade of the United Nations — once cleaned septic
systems for a living," reports the New York Times.
Many of these women are real dark beauties who are shunned merely
because of the caste that they have been born into. It is wonderful to
see that they could be transformed, like a caterpillar to a
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