Kalbelia in India

Kalbelia
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2021
Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kalbelia
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 162,000
World Population: 162,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.02 %
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

The Kalbelia live a nomadic life and have belonged as members of the lower castes, shunned by mainstream society. Their main occupation has been catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to that of serpents. Traditionally, Kalbelia men carried cobras in cane baskets from door to door in villages while their women sang and danced and begged for alms. They revere the cobra. Kalbelias have traditionally been a fringe group in society, living in spaces outside the village where they reside in makeshift camps called deras. They move their deras from one place to another in a circuitous route. More recently, performing arts are a major source of income for them, and others are employed in agriculture. They are Hindu.

Ministry Obstacles

Spiritual opposition can be expected as Jesus is presented to this Hindu community. Workers need to prayerfully prepare for this.

Outreach Ideas

Perhaps some of the Kalbelia will discover the Jesus film and Gospel recordings on the Internet, as well as scripture. Pray the Lord will prompt them to listen, view and download, and that he will give them understanding.

Pray for the Followers of Christ

None of the Kalbelia community have reported themselves as Christians to the Indian census. There probably are no followers of Jesus among them today. Perhaps the Lord will soon call many to himself, and they will need prayer support.

Pray for the Entire People Group

Please pray this low caste community will find ways to improve their standard of living. They need better education for their children, and they need employment opportunities.

Text Source:   Joshua Project