Introduction / History
The Doms (also known as the Doom, Dum or Dumar) have many different stories of their origin but most centre around their becoming an outcaste group because of a celebrated slaughtering of a sacred cow. The Dom is a Scheduled Caste in India and is counted among the depressed castes or 'untouchable' community in Nepal. Numbering over 2 million they can be found in over 500 of the districts of India and Nepal.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Doms are a colourful community of South Asia. There are so many different clans and sub-groupings that it is hard to generalise about their lives. They have been traditionally defined by the low occupations of alms collecting, grave digging, cremating, drum-beating, singing, dancing, as well as the making of bamboo baskets (sirki) and mats (chatai). Of the Doms in Nepal about 25% are Muslim Dom. In their Muslim communities some have today entered into other labour jobs such as plantation workers, rickshaw-pullers and construction. In Nepal they primarily speak Nepali and are non-vegetarian.
What are Their Needs?
The ministry of Jesus among the poor and outcaste is a clear call to reach out to the Muslim Dom of Nepal. There are no known workers among the Muslim Dom. The Dom of India can benefit from the education programmes but in Nepal tuition programmes and community education can lift some of the children up socially and into traditional schools for the first time.
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