Bedar (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan

Bedar (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
India Missions Association  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Bedar (Hindu traditions)
Country: Pakistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 7,100
World Population: 2,444,100
Primary Language: Sindhi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Bedar tradition states that Kannayya was a fowler and hunter and a devout worshipper of Shiva. The god was pleased with his devotion and appeared to him, granting two wishes. Kannayya prayed that his descendants would be true shots and their land would grow much grain with little labor or water.
"Bedar" comes from the word "bed" or "bedaru" meaning a hunter. Hindus from this people are known as Bedar and Muslims as Berad. They prefer to be called Naikwadi because they serve as village policemen or Talwar (watchmen).
The Pakistani Bedar speak Sindhi as their first language. Many of the men also speak Urdu, the national language of Pakistan.
The Bedar people are a Dravidian tribe who live in South India. A much smaller population lives in southeast Pakistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bedar have six social divisions. They work as farmers, servants, traders, messengers, police, and soldiers. Some men also work as stonecutters and herdsmen.
Men and women like to wear silver and gold jewelry. Some traditionally shave their heads, wear waist girdles, gold and silver bracelets and gold earrings.
At the age of four or five girls are tattooed on the forehead, corners of the eyes, temples and forearms. Unfortunately, some unmarried girls are made into prostitutes. The girls are taken to a guru (spiritual leader) who brands them with a stamp, and then takes them to a temple where a necklace is tied around their neck in the name of their god. The boy's parents initiate marriage proposal. Child marriage is common, but the girl does not live with her husband until after puberty. Marriage cannot be within the same sub-division. Widow remarriage and divorce are allowed. The Bedar have elders to solve community disputes and to promote their interests.
Sons inherit their father's property. Illiteracy is a problem for Bedar women and girls. Children often quit school early to help their family earn a living. They are non-vegetarian and drink alcohol.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bedar 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 as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
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.
There are few if any believers among the Bedar of Pakistan.

What Are Their Needs?

The Hindu Bedar people in Pakistan need to put their trust in Jesus Christ. They would benefit by learning new job skills and access to modern medicine.

Prayer Points

Pray for a mighty impact of the JESUS Film and Christian radio broadcasting among this people in Sindhi.
Ask the Lord to send loving workers to the Bedar in Pakistan.
Pray for workers among them to resist the evil works of sorcery, soothsaying and witchcraft and demonstrate instead the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for the abolition of the practice of child marriage.
Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Bedar of Pakistan.

Text Source:   Joshua Project