Profile Source: India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar
Introduction / History
The Vaddar, Hindu or Bhovi people trace their origin to Odra Desa or Orissa, from where they are believed to have migrated to various southern states. The word 'Bhovi' is a corrupt form of 'Bhavi' which means 'well' in Kannada, it also means 'earth-digger'. They have been involved in the digging of wells. They have various other names too such as Bhovi, Wadda, Tudugvaddar, Voddar, Vaddar, Girinivaddar, Od and Odde.
The Vaddar have decreased in population considerably. They are immigrants from Southern India mainly from Andhra Pradesh and are earth-workers, and are constantly moving about in search of work.
There are three main groups in the Bhovis, namely Kallu Bhovi who are stone cutters, Mannu Bhovi who are earth-workers and Uppar Bhovi who work as menial laborers in the municipality. They are endogamous in nature and have a number of clans such as Battala, Bandi, Pitala, Yanumala, Uppala, and Mallela. The Hindus generally treat them as untouchable -- the Sudras. They speak Telugu and Kannada.
The Bhovi women have a role in the economic, social and religious spheres of their community and contribute to the family income. While earth digging, stone cutting and daily wage labors are their traditional and primary occupations, agriculture is the secondary occupation for those settled in villages.
Their patron deity is Muneshwar and many of them are devotees of Anjaneya. They also worship other goddesses.
Alternate names: Bovi, Wadda, Tudugvaddar, Voddar, Vaddar, Girinivaddar, Od and Odde.
* For the salvation of the people of the Bhovi people.
* For the government and NGOs that they may help in setting up education and developmental programs for the poor.
* For churches and missions to be involved in holistically.
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