Dhimar in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Dhimar
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,251,000
World Population: 2,251,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.01 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Operation World states, "India's ancient, complex, and often difficult to understand past, it's racial, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity, and the caste system, all make detailed population analysis very difficult."

Dhimar people are also called by the names of Bhoi, Kahar, Machandar, Baraua, and Palewar.

Where Are they Located?

They live mainly in the Central Provinces of India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There are not distinct castes in the Central Provinces.

Dhimar (fishermen) people are fishermen and palanquin (sedan chair) bearers. They also work as boatmen, workmen in cultivation along the river banks, water carriers, rope weavers, grindstone sharpeners, and sellers of sweet potatoes, dry grains, rice and boiled plums.

In the spring, they join the Hindu community in Holi, a festival of colors, or "festival of love." Holi is a celebration of the end of winter, and the triumph of good over evil. It is a joyful event that unites people from all backgrounds and castes. Many participate by throwing colored waters and powders at both friends and strangers. Though the heart of Holi is play, reconciliation, love and thanksgiving, it is ultimately linked to the worship of false gods.

First cousins are not allowed to marry one another. Widows can remarry, and divorce is permitted, but it does not happen often. Children are named on the day they are born, or 12 days later. They are poor, and as a result do not cremate their dead.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Dhimar people are mostly Hindus who worship Dulha Deo, Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman, and Lakshmi.

Persecution levels vary widely from state to state, although strong laws are being passed in Central Provinces limiting conversions to Christianity.

What Are Their Needs?

Central India remains a pioneer mission field, but outreach and response are increasing, reflecting persecution levels.

Dhimar people are generally poor and have many physical and spiritual needs. Their greatest need is for their Savior.

Prayer Points

Pray that Dhimar people will be liberated by God's Holy Spirit from the many ties that bind them, and false deities that weigh them down, causing them to live in fear.

Pray that as they celebrate Holi, the Holy Spirit of the one true God will enable them to experience His reconciliation – His full payment of the penalty for their sins.

Text Source:   Karen Hightower