Chakkiliyan (Hindu traditions) in India

Chakkiliyan (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Thamizhpparithi Maari  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Chakkiliyan (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 857,000
World Population: 884,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.07 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

At some point in India's history, a whole class of people were forced by violence and religious sanction into demeaning roles. These are the Dalits, and among them, the Chakkiliyans have exceptionally low status in the Hindu caste system.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today, some of the Chakkiliyan in south India are educated, occupying administrative positions both in private and public sectors. But most of the Chakkiliyan have a low standard of living and a low literacy rate. They work as leather workers or "night soil" removers. Night soil is a respectable term for human waste. This is also an outcome of the lack of a proper sanitation system throughout India. Due to their association with night soil, others in Indian society have been reluctant to associate with them including other low status Dalit communities. Some Chakkiliyan work in agricultural and day laborers across western and northern Tamil Nadu. They usually live in a place that is apart from the main village like other Dalits. Many place names in India and Sri Lanka are named for this community.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Chakkiliyan practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. 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 Chakkiliyan visit Hindu shrines 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 as Christians do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. About 10% of the Chakkiliyan claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

The Chakkiliyan need the esteem that comes from having their identity in Christ, not in the status others give them. Most of them need to learn to read and write. They need new job skills, so they are able to provide for their families. They would benefit from access to modern medicine and clean water.

Prayer Points

* Pray that God would provide the Chakkiliyan children with good schools and teachers. * Ask the Lord to send out workers to them who will help them put their trust in Christ. * Ask the Lord to provide trained pastors who can teach the believers the Word of God.

Text Source:   Keith Carey