Delara Damania grew up in Bangalore at a time when one could drive 20 minutes in any direction and find oneself outside the city. She'd often go hiking, and when she was older she travelled to several forests in South India. This left her with an abiding appreciation for the natural heritage of the region. She graduated from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in 2001, where she studied Visual Communication. Later, she worked at Daily Dump on research and design projects that aimed to change the way urban Indians approach everyday waste. During this time she began experimenting with alternatives that would reduce the toxic load of household waste on natural systems. This led to her starting Common Oxen in 2011.