Bhangi (Hindu traditions) in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Bhangi is an Indian caste that was previously classed as untouchable. They have many subdivisions. They prefer to be called "Balmiki" or "Valmiki."

During the colonial period they were brought from villages to remove human excrement and clean the cities. They became an urban community.

Balmiki make up a cluster of communities, having united to form one community, claiming a common origin from the saint Balmiki. Balmiki is thought to be the first Sanskrit poet and author of the holy Hindu epic Ramayana, and was brought up by a sweeper woman although he was a Brahmin (highest Hindu caste) mendicant's son.


Where Are they Located?

These communities can be found throughout the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, and the union territory of Chandigarh where they are locally known by various names mentioned above.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Bhangi people have been restricted to three types of work which are cleaning toilets, sweeping and scavenging. Scavenging can sometimes mean handling dead people. A child in a Bhangi family was forced to do this kind of work mainly because of finances.

Although there have been attempts to improve sanitation including banning the manual removal of human waste, some Bhangis are still doing that kind of work, and suffer much discrimination. Even Dalit castes classed as "backward" such as the Dhobi washer men are socially higher. The Bhangis are rightfully described as "outcasts even among outcasts."

Bhangi people occupy the lowliest position of the caste system. In time, with the introduction of septic latrines, the practice of carrying buckets of excrement on their heads is gone, but they still work to clear blockages in sewers where they are half submerged in filth. The stigma remains as they are still identified with the work they perform and considered untouchable and treated as such. They have always been marginalized and treated as outcasts socially, economically and culturally. Sweepers are now referred to as sanitary workers.

They were given names contrary to their position to give them dignity despite their lowly status such as Chuhra meaning "beautiful" and Mehtar, a Persian word meaning "prince" or "leader." However, Bhangi, the most widely used name, is a Hindi word meaning "one addicted to drinking bhang" (a drink made from marijuana leaves).

They are beginning to have opportunities to work in agricultural or contract labor, bamboo basketry, poultry and pig farming, wedding music, and midwifery.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Bhagi people are Hindus, observing religious rites, festivals, and customs. Some Bhangis are Muslims though most Bhangis are strong Hindus but some have gone to other religions to get away from the social position that they have. This has generally not brought about changes for the better for them. In spite of all this, there are some Bhangis classed as Hindu saints.


What Are Their Needs?

The primary need is to know the one true creator God who loves them no matter what others think of them.
Bhangi people have medical, social, economic, and educational needs.

Servants with broken hearts for them need to live among them to earn their trust and respect, offering physical help while communicating the gospel to them.


Prayer Points

* Pray that existing churches will grow and spread, producing many disciples among Bhangi people.
* Pray for God's blessing, strengthening and healing of families and communities within the Bhagi people through the abundant life and love Jesus offers to all nations.
* Pray for deliverance from the fear that hinders God's blessing from affecting Bhangi communities.


References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bhangi


Profile Source:   Karen Hightower  

People Name General Bhangi (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Bhangi (Hindu traditions)
Population in India 5,006,000
World Population 5,031,400
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 100
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Asadaru, Balmik, Balmiki, Barvashia, Bhangi, Bhangi/Chuhra, Bhangia, Chamar, Chuhra, Chura, Churhra, Hadi, Halalkheo, Halalkhor, Hari, Harijan, Jamadar, Jamphora, Jharudar, Khakrobe, Khalpa, Korar, Lal Begi, Macegar, Machegar Lingayat, Machigar, Madar, Malkana, Malkana Mehtar, Malkhana, Maratha Chambhar, Mehtar, Methar, Moci, Mulkana, Olagana, Olgana, Olgana Rukhi, Rohit, Rukhi, Sindhi Moci, Valmiki, Zadmalli, भंगी (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 16399
ROP3 Code 111546
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Group Bhangi (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25c
Total Subgroups on file 28
Largest Subgroups
(only 15 largest shown)
Balmiki
610,000
Dom
44,000
Pattharpor
26,000
Hela
23,000
Amdaria
12,000
Koelbari
12,000
Chuhra
7,700
Dhanuk
6,600
Bari
6,000
Machua
6,000
Manjhi
6,000
Sariswar
6,000
Chapraiya
5,900
Bansphor
5,700
Dusadh
5,700
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Group Bhangi (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25c
Total Subgroups 28 (only 15 largest shown)
  Balmiki 610,000
  Dom 44,000
  Pattharpor 26,000
  Hela 23,000
  Amdaria 12,000
  Koelbari 12,000
  Chuhra 7,700
  Dhanuk 6,600
  Bari 6,000
  Machua 6,000
  Manjhi 6,000
  Sariswar 6,000
  Chapraiya 5,900
  Bansphor 5,700
  Dusadh 5,700
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 30
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh
1,556,000
Delhi
652,000
Gujarat
580,000
West Bengal
542,000
Rajasthan
477,000
Madhya Pradesh
405,000
Maharashtra
283,000
Bihar
215,000
Uttarakhand
102,000
Jharkhand
65,000
Karnataka
26,000
Chhattisgarh
24,000
Assam
22,000
Punjab
21,000
Telangana
9,600
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 30  (only 20 largest shown)
  Uttar Pradesh 1,556,000
  Delhi 652,000
  Gujarat 580,000
  West Bengal 542,000
  Rajasthan 477,000
  Madhya Pradesh 405,000
  Maharashtra 283,000
  Bihar 215,000
  Uttarakhand 102,000
  Jharkhand 65,000
  Karnataka 26,000
  Chhattisgarh 24,000
  Assam 22,000
  Punjab 21,000
  Telangana 9,600
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (3,374,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 42
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Gujarati
433,000
Bengali
400,000
Punjabi, Eastern
80,000
Dhundari
71,000
Kanauji
70,000
Awadhi
66,000
Marathi
60,000
Marwari
53,000
Garhwali
28,000
Shekhawati
28,000
Konkani
27,000
Merwari
26,000
Bhojpuri
25,000
Maithili
24,000
Chhattisgarhi
17,000
Other People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (3,374,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 42
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Gujarati 433,000
  Bengali 400,000
  Punjabi, Eastern 80,000
  Dhundari 71,000
  Kanauji 70,000
  Awadhi 66,000
  Marathi 60,000
  Marwari 53,000
  Garhwali 28,000
  Shekhawati 28,000
  Konkani 27,000
  Merwari 26,000
  Bhojpuri 25,000
  Maithili 24,000
  Chhattisgarhi 17,000
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2000)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video A Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Aasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Coconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Haqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Ten Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video The Final Prodigal (Indigitube.tv)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.21 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.69 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.89 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.20 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Karen Hightower  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.


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