Panka in India

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Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Panka
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 47,000
World Population: 47,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Panka community of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have either scheduled caste or Sudra status. Both indicate low status in Hindu society. They have many gotras (clans) and other smaller groupings. Most use Panka as their surname, so everyone knows their community.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Panka are traditionally weavers, though they also grow crops, raise livestock and find food in the forests. They sell their woven goods in the markets. The less fortunate are day laborers.

Panka families are usually nuclear rather than extended. Younger members respect and even fear their family elders.

They prefer to marry their cousins, usually a father’s sister’s daughter or a mother’s brother’s daughter. They marry as adults, and the marriages are monogamous. They rarely divorce, but occasionally one partner will desert the other and marry someone else. They only do this if there are no children involved.

Panka women have many jobs including fishing, which is usually reserved for men. They also take care of the house, raise the children, care for livestock and cultivate their crops. Women have lower status than men and do not have the chance to make decisions regarding family property.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though the Panka are Hindu, they worship many household and regional gods. Within each gotra (clan) there are family gods that they worship hoping for protection and prosperity.

What Are Their Needs?

The Panka people need to put their faith and hope in the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Panka people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing the hearts of these people would be open and ready to follow him.

Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly.

Pray for the spiritual lives of Panka Christians to become fruitful so others will be drawn to Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project