Introduction / History
The Mallah of Uttar Pradesh usually go by the name of Nishad, which refers to a character from the Hindu myth the Ramayana. Nishad was a boatman in Prayag (Allahabad UP) who ferried Ram, Sita and Laskman across the river. From this tale, the Nishad take pride and consider their occupation as boatmen along the holy Ganga river carrying Hindu devotees as a high calling or holy occupation. They take pride in their heritage, even though they are considered a backward caste.
Where Are they Located?
They live along the major waterways of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are poor and mostly illiterate. They are involved in boating and some fishing and sometimes in farming. They are strict about marrying within their own caste. The women are not often seen in public, although at times in Hindu pilgrimage areas such as Allahabad or Benares, you will see children and women of this caste selling flowers and incense for river worship purposes.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They are Hindu.
What Are Their Needs?
They have lacks in literacy, education, health and family planning and economic advancement.
* They are constantly exposed to the rituals of Hinduism due to being located in the 'sacred' regions visited heavily by Hindu devotees and pilgrims. Pray for their minds to be prepared to hear Truth!
* Pray for a breakthrough of the Gospel in their history.
* Pray for new, inventive, powerful outreaches to these people.
* Pray for Gospel presentations through song and drama.
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