Bakuda in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Bakuda
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 15,000
World Population: 15,000
Primary Language: Tamil
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 Hindu Bakuda people are also known as the Bayala Bakuda.

Though the Bakuda speak their own language called Tulu, most also speak the main languages of the state they live in. The New Testament and JESUS Film are available in Tulu. Radio programs exist in Tamil. There are few if any believers among the Bakuda.

They live in India's southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Bakuda live in poverty. Their main occupation is working on farms on land owned by higher castes, construction and sanitation. A large portion of Bakuda adults are unable to read and write. The Indian government is making progress in educating Bakuda children. Their lack of literacy and job skills confines the Bakuda to a low position in Indian society.

Their main food is rice supplemented by vegetables, fruit and coconut oil. They eat meat only on holidays. As Hindus, the Bakuda do not eat beef.

The Bakuda marry among their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. They tend to have large families. Sons inherit their father's property and have the responsibility of taking care of elderly parents. Life expectancy is low and child mortality is high among the Bakuda. Many Bakuda children quit school only after a few years in order to help their family earn a living. Some Bakuda young people are moving to Indian cities searching for a better life. Unfortunately, they are able to find only the lowest paying jobs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bakuda people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. 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. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.

Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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?

The Bakuda have huge physical and spiritual needs. They need good schools for their children. They need new job skills. Rural Bakuda often lack access to modern medicine and clean water. Most of all, the Bakuda people need to realize that they cannot please God without being empowered by the Holy Spirit. They cannot have the Holy Spirit without Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Bakuda people will see their spiritual poverty and come to the Christ who can make them spiritually rich.

Pray for the Lord to send loving workers to the Bakuda people.

Pray for dreams and visions to lead many Bakuda to the foot of the cross.

Pray that the believers of South India would be moved to help the Bakuda with their many needs.

Pray the Lord raises up a disciple making movement among the Bakuda this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project