Introduction / History
The traditional occupation of the Kamkar Kahar was that of palanquin bearers and water carriers. The name Kahar comes from Hindi words which means, "shoulder bearers." The large majority of Kahar are Hindus. A small group of Kahar converted to Islam during the Mughal Period. The Kamkar Kahar are a Scheduled Caste meaning that they are eligible for pubic jobs and special university admissions. The two main languages of the Muslim Kamkar are Bengali and Urdu.
Where Are they Located?
The Muslim Kahar Kamkar live in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Kahar are farmers and are engaged in small businesses – restaurants, fabric shops, and food stalls according to People Groups of India. They can be found working for transportation companies. They also work as rickshaw-pullers, carpenters, basket weavers, boatmen, and fishermen. Some educated Kamkar have become professional and politicians.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Muslim Kamkar marry within their group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. A Kamkar man can have up to four wives if he can afford them. Marriage to one wife is the norm. The Kamkar will not eat pork or beef. The staples of their diet are rice, lentils, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products.
Though they are Muslims and their ancestors converted from Hinduism, the Kamkar have a worldview that incorporates many Hindu-like beliefs in addition to their form of Sunni Islam. The Kamkar often celebrate both Muslim and Hindu holidays.
What Are Their Needs?
The Kamkar need good secondary schools for their children. They need to learn new job skills so that they obtain better employment. Many Kamkar need access to modern medicine. Most of all, the Kamkar need to hear and respond to the message of Isa or Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Muslim Kamkar Kahar people teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Kamkar Kahar families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Kamkar Kahar families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Kamkar Kahar family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
Scripture Prayers for the Kahar Kamkar (Muslim traditions) in India.