Valmiki, Balmiki (Hindu traditions) in Nepal

Valmiki, Balmiki (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2020
International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Valmiki, Balmiki (Hindu traditions)
Country: Nepal
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,400
World Population: 7,089,300
Primary Language: Awadhi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bhangi are a Hindu caste that used to be classed as untouchable. They have many subdivisions. They would rather be called Balmiki or Valmiki. They were restricted to three types of work which are cleaning toilets, sweeping and scavenging. Scavenging can sometimes mean handling dead people. A child in a Bhangi family was forced to do this kind of work mainly because of finances.

Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Bhangi people live in India. Only about 10 percent live in Nepal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Although attempts have been made to improve sanitation and this includes banning the manual removal of human waste, some Bhangis are yet doing that kind of work now. They are very much discriminated against in Hindu society. Even Dalit castes classed as backward such as the Dhobi who are washer men are socially higher than the Bhangi. Higher castes amongst the Dalits would not have anything to do with lower caste Bhangis who are described as "outcasts even amongst outcasts". There are continual efforts to improve their status and their lot in life.

What Are Their Beliefs?

This group is 100 percent Hindu in both Nepal and India. There was a movement to Christ between the 1870s and 1930s, but it eventually dissolved.

What Are Their Needs?

Most Bhangis are refused education, teachers and students not wanting them. It is very difficult for the Bhangis to find work as they are unwanted.

Prayer Points

* Pray things will get better for them financially and socially.
* Pray that they will meet Nepali believers who will show them love and give them the gospel message so the Bhangis will come to Jesus Christ and at last find true happiness.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to flourish among the Bhangi people, both in India and Nepal.

Text Source:   Keith Carey