Vanjara in India

The Vanjara have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 2

Subgroup Name Population
Ladjin 14,000
Raojin 7,600

Introduction / History

The Vanjara or Banjara originally came from the western Indian state of Rajastan. Their main occupation before the British period was transporting salt, cattle and grain. Their name means "dwellers of the forest or jungle." During colonial times and the coming of the railroads, the Vanjara ceased their nomadic ways and settled down to become farmers. The Vanjara now grow rice, other grains, vegetables and fruit for themselves and to sell to others. They also raise cattle for dairy products and sale. The Vanjara also make bamboo products like baskets and mats to sell.

In the Vanjara community there is a wide disparity in their education levels. Some have college educations while most are barely literate or illiterate.

In most Indian states they are a Scheduled Class meaning they are eligible for guaranteed spots in universities and public service.

The primary language of the Vanjara is Marathi. Some others speak Telegu and other regional Indian languages.


Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Vanjara live in Maharashtra, west India. Some also live in Telangana and other regions of India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The formerly nomadic Vanjara have settled down to live as farmers. One source said that the men are allowed to eat meat except for beef while the women must be vegetarians. The women work in the homes and in the fields. They are especially skilled in embroidery. The men also work in the field and make things to sell for currency. Unfortunately, most children receive only a minimal education and must work in agriculture to help support their families.

The Vanjara are endogamous, they prefer to marry within their group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit property upon the death of their fathers. They create their dead except for young children who are buried.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Vanjara practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the many gods of the Hindu pantheon. They offer food, incense and flowers at Hindu temples and at household shrines.

Sevala or Sevabhaya is the most important saint of the Banjara. He was a cattle merchant of the 18th century who lived an exemplary of morality. He was a musician and devoted to Durga, the mother-warrior goddess.
Banjara people celebrate the festival of Teej during Shravana (the month of August).

This holiday celebrates the monsoon season and the god Shiva and goddess Parvati.

The Vanjara also celebrate the yearly Hindu festivals, of Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the nine-day festival of autumn.


What Are Their Needs?

The Vanjara need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. Christian teachers could help with the educational needs of their children. Agricultural experts could increase the crop yields of their lands. The Vanjara must see that Durga and Shiva will not help them obtain salvation and that their only hope is Christ.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Vanjara in India.

* Pray that God moves Indian Christians to reach out to the Vanjara and share the gospel with them.
* Pray Christian workers come to live among the Vanjara and show them the love and mercy of God.
* Pray the Lord wins some Vanjara to Himself and that Bible-believing churches are planted in their community.


References

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjara


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Vanjara
People Name in Country Vanjara
World Population 953,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 19
Alternate Names Vantari; Vindhar; Wandhara; Wanjara; वंजारा
People ID 18329
ROP3 Code 113879
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 6
Largest States
Maharashtra
833,000
Telangana
108,000
Karnataka
10,000
Odisha
600
Gujarat
600
Delhi
100
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 6
  Maharashtra 833,000
  Telangana 108,000
  Karnataka 10,000
  Odisha 600
  Gujarat 600
  Delhi 100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Marathi (814,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Telugu
100,000
Hindi
40,000
Kannada
2,000
Konkani
800
Gujarati
400
Primary Language Marathi (814,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Telugu 100,000
  Hindi 40,000
  Kannada 2,000
  Konkani 800
  Gujarati 400
People Groups Speaking Marathi

Primary Language:  Marathi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1807-1957)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1982)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1821-2002)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
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 Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Marathi
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Marathi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: मराठी - Marathi
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Dr. Raju Kasambe 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source David Kugel  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.