Balagai in India

The Balagai have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Balagai or Chalavadi are an indigenous people who live in the south India states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Balagai call themselves a right-handed, Dravidian community. They were formerly hunter-gatherers but now they have settled down to live in villages. Most of the Balagai now work in agriculture and animal husbandry. Most Balagai are illiterate or functionally illiterate. Most Balagai children have to quit school after a few years to help support their families.

The Balagai are a Scheduled Caste meaning they are eligible for pubic jobs and special consideration for university admissions.
The main language of the Balagai is Kannada. Some also speak Telugu and Tamil. Many Christian resources are available in all three languages including the whole Bible and the JESUS Film.


Where Are they Located?

The Balagai live in the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, states in South India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Balagai live in rural villages often without electricity, indoors plumbing and access to modern medical care. Life expectancy is short. Crop failure can lead to starvation in the Balagai community. They are a tribal people outside of the Hindu caste system. Other Indians tend to look down on tribal peoples due to their lack of education and animistic ways.

The main foods of the Balagai are rice, grains, vegetables, and dairy products. As Hindus, they will not eat beef. Meat is frequently reserved for special occasions and holidays. The Balagai sell their produce, meat, hides, and milk to get cash to buy things they cannot make for themselves like tools, weapons and farm equipment.

The Balagai marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Marriage to one spouse is the norm.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Balagai practice Hinduism heavily influence by ethnic religion. They pay special devotion to Shiva, destroyer god. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Balagai 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 many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Balagai believe that evil spirits inhabit the forces of nature. The village shaman performs magic ceremonies and rituals to appease the evil spirits.

The main yearly holidays of the Balagai people are 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.


What Are Their Needs?

Solar panels can bring electricity to Balagai villages. The Balagai children need more than a basic primary education to compete in the contemporary Indian economy. The Balagai need access to modern medical care and clean water. Most of all the Balagai need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and deliver them from their fear of evils spirits.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Balagai in India.

* Pray that persons and households of peace will be found among the Balagai people who will catalyze movements to Jesus among their own people.
* Pray the Lord will start a movement of Balagai families experiencing God's blessings.
* Pray that the Lord will overthrow the powers of darkness that are preventing the Balagai from accepting His truth.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalavadi


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Balagai
People Name in Country Balagai
World Population 8,500
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names बलगाई
People ID 16307
ROP3 Code 111436
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Tamil Nadu
6,400
Karnataka
2,200
Goa
20
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Tamil Nadu 6,400
  Karnataka 2,200
  Goa 20
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Kannada (6,200 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Tamil
1,300
Telugu
1,100
Konkani, Goan
30
Primary Language Kannada (6,200 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Tamil 1,300
  Telugu 1,100
  Konkani, Goan 30
People Groups Speaking Kannada

Primary Language:  Kannada

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1988)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1823-1995)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1827-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Kannada
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kannada
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible: ಕನ್ನಡ - Kannada
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter International Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter Online New Testament (Bibles India)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.37 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.63 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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