Introduction / History
Like many people groups in the Hindu world, the Bagheti place themselves higher on the caste order than others. They consider themselves to be sudras, the fourth of four major caste groups, while other Hindus would call them Dalits, or outcastes.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The primary language of the Bagheti is Odia. Many resources are available in Odia including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. There are few if any Bagheti believers.
The Hindu Bagheti live in the east central Indian state of Odisha.
Many Bagheti men fish off the coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal. They salt and dry most their fish to sell to others. With the money from the dried fish, they can maintain their boats and nets. They can also buy things they cannot make for themselves such as cell phones, appliances, TVs and radios.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Many of the Bagheti who do not fish work in agriculture on land owned by others. A small portion of the crops they keep, and the larger portion goes to the landowners. They grow rice, palm trees, coconuts, vegetables, and fruit. Most Bagheti would like to improve their standard of living. Many of their children quit school after a few years to help their families make a living. Some young people are moving to Indian cities hoping for a better life. Since many lack job skills, they have to take the lowest paying jobs.
Bagheti marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Bagheti tend to have a large number of children. Sons are responsible to take care of elderly relatives. Families and young people arrange marriages. Village elders make judicial decisions and deal with outsiders. Some rural Bagheti lack access to modern medical care. As a result, child mortality is high.
The Bagheti people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians so. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Bagheti need new jobs skills. They need good schools for their children. Most of all they need to hear and respond to the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them a new, eternal life.
Ask God to raise up Bagheti leaders who desire to know the truth of the Bible.
Ask God to send loving, committed workers to the Bagheti in the near future.
Pray the Bagheti parents would be able to take care of their children with better schools.
Ask the Lord to raise up growing churches among the Bagheti of Indian in this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Bagheti in India.