Palam Rural Centre offers employment opportunities to people of the marginalized Harijan community in southeastern India. An acronym for “People’s Association for Leather and Allied Manufacturing," the letters of which form the Tamil word for "bridge," Palam connects members of the local “untouchable” Madari caste with international markets. A poor people who have often been exploited, the Madaris have not traditionally owned land, but rather supplemented their income with seasonal work for local landowners. Generally illiterate, there have been few opportunities open to them. Palam is now involved with its third generation of artisans. Many of the children of the first and second generations have gone on to become teachers, nurses and accountants. With money from sales, Palam has purchased land and built a workshop, secure homes, a church, school and health centre. As Palam continues to adapt to changing circumstances, it is reaching out to the poor of the region regardless of caste, colour, creed or political and religious affiliation.