Introduction / History
We are in Pandopara, a Pando village. Jim and Stephen, two young missionaries, have gone there to do some initial research on the Pando language. The whole village is in festive mood and soon they find the reason. Karma, a festival in celebration of Pando’s liquor god, is the following day. Soon, a small crowd gathers around these two young men, cheerfully explaining how everyone, young and old, men and women, will be drinking the whole day! Their excitement is evident in their cheerful tones. They don’t forget a kind invitation to these two young friends to join in their celebration!
The Pando are one of 35 colorful tribes whose abode is the state of Chhattisgarh, situated in the central part of India. Each of these tribes has its unique cultural tradition, complete with rhythmic folk music, dances and dramas. These are a treat to watch, and provide an insight into their heritage. The Pando in particular are concentrated in the Surguja and Korea districts of this state. The Pando region consists of plateaus and hills. A huge portion of its total area is also covered by forests.
Despite being surrounded by such natural richness, the Pando are still on the lower rungs of prosperity. They do small scale farming for their living. Daily labor, cultivation, cattle, birds and forest produce supplement their income. However, they do not have the basic facilities of electricity, roads and health care. There is not a single health center where people can go in case of emergency. A few Pando villages have government run nursery and primary schools. But they show no interest in education. A language survey has just been completed and we hope to see Scripture translation work being initiated among the Pando. There is great scope and need for mission work among this community. Let us intercede to the Lord of the harvest for these needy people.