Photo Source: Copyrighted © 2020
Isudas All rights reserved. Used with permission
Map Source: People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
|Christian Adherents:||0.30 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Tribal - Other|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The Bastar district is sometimes described as the 'Kashmir of Chhatisgarh'. The area is rich in natural beauty, surrounded by dense forests, mountains, streams, waterfalls, natural caves, and natural parks. It is also home to some colorful tribes: the Halbas, the Bhatras and the Gonds. Among these, the Halba occupy a key position. This could be because the friendly Halba are one of the most progressive and affluent landowning tribal communities. Halba people maintain a good rapport with neighboring tribes, and also take pride in their unique cultural elements such as their costumes, language, and lifestyle.
Though the Halba are primarily found in Chhattisgarh, they are also scattered through the neighboring states of Maharashtra and Orissa.
Their literacy level is very low owing to the poor infrastructure. Villages have primary schools, but these do not function regularly. Though there are some positive changes taking place in Halba society, poor health, malnutrition, infant mortality, child marriage, and child labor are still major obstacles to significant progress. Over the past year, more than 350 people have been killed, and 50,000 have been moved into camps in the Dantewada district as a result of a Maoist uprising
The Halba are largely Hindu, with a small percentage of Muslims and Christians. Different mission agencies are involved in evangelism, and churches are being established. God's Word is the first ever printed material in Halbi – the language of the Halba. In addition to Scripture portions, a film about Jesus, gospel tracts and audio-cassettes are also available in Halbi. However, people are hesitant to make a decision to follow the Lord, so missionaries are making inroads to the community through child-care programs. Christians being viewed as low caste, illiteracy, and forced re-conversion are the main hindrances to the spread of the Gospel across this region.