"What could a Chamaar pass on to his sons"

 

Tanning Leather
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTanning Leather - Credit: Bernard Gagnon, Wikimedia

 

The word chamaar comes from the Hindi word 'cham' meaning leather. Chamaars were originally people involved in the leather industry, but the word now includes those who work in agriculture; together they make up the second-largest occupational caste in India.

Tanning leather is a dirty, smelly job, and for this reason chamaars were thought of as untouchables – their very presence contaminating their surroundings.