Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
The Irika people use Raura as their surname. They live in Odisha where they migrated north from Andhra Pradesh at some time in the past. They still speak Telegu, the language of Andhra Pradesh in a land where Oriya is spoken, a language with a different root. Most of the Irika people have learned to speak Oriya with those outside their community. They use folklore and folk tales to keep their traditions alive. This scheduled castes has a strong oral tradition.
These landless people have traditionally taken care of livestock, but many of them are now settle cultivators, though they do not have enough land to make a living.
Where are they Located?
The Irika people live on India’s east coast state of Odisha.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Hindu Irika people are not vegetarians; they eat just about any kind of fish, foul, or meat, except beef.
They marry as adults, and these unions are arranged by family negotiations, mutual consent, or even courtship. Marriages are almost always monogamous. Divorce is permitted, but they need permission from the village council. When a divorce happens, the aggrieved party is paid compensation, and strangely, the children usually go with the father rather than the mother. The widowed and divorced are allowed to remarry.
Life for the Irika people is hard. They must use separate wells than other people groups, and they aren’t allowed into local Hindu temples. This indicates that they are marginalized by other Hindu peoples. They have few opportunities to improve their lot, partly because of their low status as scheduled caste members.
What are Their Beliefs?
The Irika people are 100 percent Hindu. They chose sacred specialists from their own community and from other communities to perform life cycle rituals and religious ceremonies.
What are Their Needs?
They have few opportunities to earn a decent living, so they need educational opportunities. India’s reservation system, which reserves a certain number of spots for higher education and high paying jobs does not help a community this small.
* Pray for the Irika people to have the chance to hear the gospel and have their communities transformed, both spiritually and economically.
* Pray for Holy Spirit filled believers to go to the Irika people to bless them with the opportunity to become part of the Kingdom of God.
* Pray for Irika people to be so transformed by the gospel that Christ will be glorified even by Hindu communities.