Puthirai Vannan in India

Puthirai Vannan
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Puthirai Vannan
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 30,000
World Population: 30,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.36 %
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

The Puthirai Vannan are a Scheduled Caste, meaning that they have low status in Hindu society. They are washermen like the Dhobis, except they have far lower status. There is no consensus as to whether or not Puthirai is a subgroup of the greater Vannan peoples.

Where Are they Located?

The Puthirai Vannan people live in the southern most regions of India, especially the state of Tamil Nadu.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Vannan peoples face the same challenges as the Dhobis in that they are slowly being replaced by washing machines in urban centers. People with money find it more convenient to wash their own closes on their own timetable, leaving the Vannans without work.

Furthermore, the Puthirai Vannan have the lowest status as washermen, doing the work that others will not do such as washing menstrual pads after a girl first reaches puberty, the clothes of a woman who just gave birth and the clothes worn by the dead. These jobs have ceremonial meanings. They could be given higher status, but instead their status is very low. They are often regarded as servants to the Dalits, who are at the bottom of the Hindu hierarchy. The Puthirai Vannans are often given food, not money, and even that they have to beg for!

They are not allowed to own land. Therefore, they can only grow food on publicly held land if any place at all. These people are viewed at “untouchables” by forward castes, but they are even more oppressed by other Dalits.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Puthirai Vannan people practice Hinduism, the dominant religion of India. Many feel that the gods have let them down, leaving them to the mercy of the more powerful castes. The caste system of Hinduism has left them destitute, but this is all they know.

What Are Their Needs?

The Puthirai Vannan people think like servants and view themselves in the same negative light as other Hindu communities. They need to see themselves as God sees them.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the Puthirai Vannan culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Puthirai Vannan family and community leaders to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Puthirai Vannan people.
* Pray that soon the Puthirai Vannan people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.

Text Source:   Keith Carey