Chamar (Hindu traditions) in India


Population
51,317,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Chamar people live primarily in India's western states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. They are considered untouchable, and most of them know nothing else their entire lives. With a population of over 50 million, they are among the largest untouchable, or Dalit communities in the Hindu world.

The Chamar people are also known as Bhambi, Asadaru, Khalpa, Machigar, Lingayat, Mochi and Rohit.

They are regarded as untouchables or Sudras. To be untouchable, according to Indian-Hindu tradition, is to be undesirable, or unworthy of any sort of consideration or provision by society. This translates into frequent joblessness, lack of education and lifelong poverty. Traditional upper caste members will even avoid an untouchable's shadow.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Chamar use the Devanagari script and speak Kannada, Gujarati and Hindi along with regional languages. Their main occupation is manufacturing shoes and chappals from finished leather. Besides this, they are engaged in daily-wage labour and petty business. Day labor and petty business are also main sources of income, along with the manufacture of shoes and chappal, an Indian sandal. The origins of the name "chamar" come from their leather work. You can imagine how working with the remains of dead cows can be viewed in Hindu cultures where the cow is sacred. Women are also involved in agricultural work, animal husbandry and various economic activities. The Bhambi Khalpa community repairs musical instruments like dhol and nagara which are played in the temples during worship.

Their staple cereals are rice and jowar. Men occasionally drink alcohol. The Chamar regard themselves higher than the Mangs and the Mahars.

The Chamar practice monogamy in marriage. Dowry is largely prevalent and is paid in cash and kind. Remarriage is allowed for widowers but not for the widows. The dead body of a bachelor is buried lying on its back with the head facing the south, whereas others are cremated and their mortal remains are immersed in sacred water. Rice balls are offered to the dead and to ancestors on the tenth day after death.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Chamar are Hindu. They belong to the Shiva and Bhagvat sects. Their deities are Bahiroba, Janai, Kandova of Jejori and Bhawani of Tuljapur. They follow the spiritual teachings of Ravidas. They recite mythological tales and sing songs from the religious epics. They celebrate the festivals such as Diwali, Panchami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kartik, Holi and Hannami.

There is a slightly higher degree of responsiveness to the gospel among the Chamars than among other Dalits. There is a church planting movement underway among Chamars in several districts across India.


Prayer Points

* For the salvation of the Chamar people and that God may send several Christian workers among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* For the Chamar people to break through the caste barrier; be accepted and accept other communities.
* Pray that these Chamar believers will be salt and light to Chamar communities throughout India.
* Pray that church planting will grow across all Chamar communities.
* Pray for more workers to enter the Chamar harvest.


Profile Source:   India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar / Global Prayer Digest  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-09-26
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-08-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-08-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-23
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-08-26
People Name General Chamar (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Chamar (Hindu traditions)
Population in India 51,317,000
World Population 51,735,600
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1026
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Ahirwar, Arya, Asadaro, Asodi, Bagri, Bhambi, Bola, Budhan, Chamadollu, Chamana, Chambada, Chambhar. Moci, Chamehar, Chamling, Changar, Chanial, Charmakar Rishi, Chembadi, Chemidi, Chitrakar, Das, Dhakaro, Dhekaru, Dhusia, Dohar, Dohare, Gangaputrulu, Golia, Haralayya, Harijan, Jaiswar, Jata Chamar, Jatav, Jatia, Jatia Chamar, Khalpa, Kureel, Laskaria Raigar, Lingayat, Machigar, Mehtar, Mochi, Moci, Mocia, Muchia, Muci, Natarlu, Parvatharaja kulam, Raidasi, Raigar, Raighar, Ram, Ramdasi, Raudari, Ravidasi, Regar, Rehgar, Rohit, Ruidas, Shankhwar, Sindhi Jatia, चामर (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 16561
ROP3 Code 111752
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Group Chamar (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25r
Total Subgroups on file 49
Largest Subgroups
(only 15 largest shown)
Satnami
1,336,000
Bhambi
451,000
Surajbansi
53,000
Ghati
52,000
Dosadh
50,000
Jatia
48,000
Chevli
42,000
Asadaru
39,000
Chandor
28,000
Mangan
21,000
Dabholi
11,000
Chanwar
7,900
Rathi
7,900
Gharami
6,900
Agria
3,600
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Group Chamar (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code CNN25r
Total Subgroups 49 (only 15 largest shown)
  Satnami 1,336,000
  Bhambi 451,000
  Surajbansi 53,000
  Ghati 52,000
  Dosadh 50,000
  Jatia 48,000
  Chevli 42,000
  Asadaru 39,000
  Chandor 28,000
  Mangan 21,000
  Dabholi 11,000
  Chanwar 7,900
  Rathi 7,900
  Gharami 6,900
  Agria 3,600
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
24,674,000
Madhya Pradesh
5,522,000
Bihar
4,403,000
Rajasthan
3,291,000
Haryana
2,393,000
Chhattisgarh
1,914,000
Maharashtra
1,615,000
West Bengal
1,309,000
Delhi
1,295,000
Gujarat
1,156,000
Jharkhand
940,000
Karnataka
649,000
Punjab
629,000
Uttarakhand
501,000
Himachal Pradesh
481,000
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 24,674,000
  Madhya Pradesh 5,522,000
  Bihar 4,403,000
  Rajasthan 3,291,000
  Haryana 2,393,000
  Chhattisgarh 1,914,000
  Maharashtra 1,615,000
  West Bengal 1,309,000
  Delhi 1,295,000
  Gujarat 1,156,000
  Jharkhand 940,000
  Karnataka 649,000
  Punjab 629,000
  Uttarakhand 501,000
  Himachal Pradesh 481,000
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (37,091,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 62
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Bhojpuri
3,931,000
Chhattisgarhi
1,266,000
Awadhi
1,115,000
Gujarati
1,012,000
Bengali
971,000
Kanauji
870,000
Marathi
770,000
Punjabi, Eastern
623,000
Kannada
477,000
Dhundari
423,000
Bundeli
354,000
Maithili
276,000
Haryanvi
271,000
Marwari
206,000
Shekhawati
195,000
Other People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (37,091,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 62
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Bhojpuri 3,931,000
  Chhattisgarhi 1,266,000
  Awadhi 1,115,000
  Gujarati 1,012,000
  Bengali 971,000
  Kanauji 870,000
  Marathi 770,000
  Punjabi, Eastern 623,000
  Kannada 477,000
  Dhundari 423,000
  Bundeli 354,000
  Maithili 276,000
  Haryanvi 271,000
  Marwari 206,000
  Shekhawati 195,000
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 Fathers 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
0.59 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.28 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
98.12 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Global Mapping Intl / Omid / Joshua Project  
Profile Source India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar / Global Prayer Digest  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.




Copyright © 2018 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.