Introduction / History
The primary occupation of the Kharvi has traditionally been salt extraction and preparation. They live all over India, but a small number are in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, where they speak Sindhi.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Today most are either farmers or fishermen. The necklace and colored powder worn as a dot on the forehead (kumkum) are the symbols of a married woman. They cremate their dead but children below 18 months of age are buried. They usually maintain close and cordial social relations with neighboring communities. Like other Hindu communities in Pakistan, the Kharva are somewhat marginalized in this Muslim dominated nation state.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Some are followers of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism. They are devotees of Swaminarayan, a guru ascetic who taught and lived a life of compassion. Their deities are Shakti, Mahakali Katyayani, and Bhuvaneshwari among many other Hindu deities. Since Hinduism is a catch-all for the traditional religions in this region, they can worship any number of deities or none at all if they wish. 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.
What Are Their Needs?
The Kharva people need to put their trust and their future in Jesus Christ, the only One who can offer them dignity and hope.
Pray for workers to go to the Kharva people in Pakistan. Pray for a spiritual hunger that will lead Kharva elders to the cross of Christ. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Kharva people this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Kharva (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.