Introduction / History
All Valmiki claim to be descendants of Valmiki, an author of the Ramayana. In colonial times, the Valmiki were known as a martial (military) caste. Many of them found employment in the British Army. Some of the Valmiki living in the Punjab have converted to Sikhism. Some Valmiki became Muslims during the Mogul Period. The vast majority of the Hindu Valmiki people live in India. The Hindu Valmiki have subgroups such as the Chohra.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In India and Pakistan most Valmiki occupy a lower place in society. Besides serving in the military, Valmiki labor as streetsweepers, watchmen, toilet cleaners, and as farm workers. The Valmiki generally do not own the land they work on. Some Valmiki have become educated and work in politics, teaching and government positions.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Chohra Valmiki tend to marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young couple. Girls marry in their teens while boys are a few years older. Marriage to one spouse is the norm among the Valmiki. Boys receive at least an elementary education while girls often quit school after a few years to help their mother with domestic responsibilities.
Rural Valmiki often lack access to modern medicine, so their life expectancy is less than 60 years. Valmiki parents have many children. Their main foods are rice, vegetable and lentils. Hindu Chohra Valmiki eat meat except for beef.
The Chohra Valmiki people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
The Valmiki need new job skills so they can improve their place in society. Chohra Valmiki women need to improve their literacy levels. Rural Valmiki would benefit by having access to modern medicine. Most of all, Valmiki must hear and respond to the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.
Ask the Lord to send anointed workers to the Chohra Valmiki India.
Pray that the leaders among the Chohra Valmiki would be open to hearing the gospel.
Pray that the Chohra Valmiki would be led by the Holy Spirit to listen to Christian radio programs.
Pray for a movement to Christ among all Hindu Valmiki groups this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Valmiki Chohra in India.