Introduction / History
The Beldar are a group of Hindu people who live in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Their name Beldar means a person who digs in the ground. Thus, it is easy to understand that there are many in the Beldar caste, who labor in excavating work. Because they do manual labor, they have low status in Indian society. The Beldar are part of the Sudras, the fourth level of Hindu caste system. Many of the Beldar, especially their women, are unable to read or write.
Where Are they Located?
The main two languages of the Beldar are Kannada and Hindi. They also speak many other regional languages depending upon where they live.
Hindu Lonari Beldar people live mostly in Karnataka, a state in south India. A few are in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Lonari Beldar are employed in agricultural work and in construction. The Beldar are able to maintain relationships with members of other communities, sharing water sources and religious shrines. The Beldar marry within their caste. Marriage with paternal or maternal relatives is avoided. Sons inherit their father’s property with the eldest son becoming the head of the family. Caste councils settle legal disputes and promote their interests.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Lonari Beldar are not vegetarian but do not eat beef. The main foods are rice, wheat, millet, vegetables and fruit. Meat is often eaten only on special occasions due to the poverty of many Beldar families.
The primary religion practiced by the Lonari Beldar is Hinduism, the ancient religious tradition of the India. The Beldar 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 Beldar visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Beldar people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Lonari Beldar need help in learning new job skills. They need help in educating their children. Many rural Beldar do not have access to clean water, electricity and indoor plumbing. Most of all, the Lonari Beldar need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them new life.
* Scripture Prayers for the Beldar Lonari (Hindu traditions) in India.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Hindu Lonari Beldar families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God’s love will change the Beldar people like yeast changes dough.