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Map Source: People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
|People Name:||Wattal (Muslim traditions)|
|Christian Adherents:||0.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Muslim - other|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
Like many communities in India, the surname and the name of the people group are the same. Watal is a surname, but also the name of a people group. Traditionally they were tanners, and they still work in the tanning industry. This is one of the lowest status jobs in South Asia.
All of the Watal people live in the Kashmiri Valley. They speak Kashmiri.
Although, according to India's constitution, caste is prohibited, it does exist and affects everyday life for Muslim communities as well as Hindu ones. For example, the Watal people often experience prejudice when they try to enter a mosque. They are Muslims, but being tanners, they are given low status not only by Hindus, but also by other Muslim communities.
They are landless, illiterate, poor, and without political or social power. Feeling powerless, one Watal individual complained, "We are like dropped leaves from a tree being swept away by the wind in unknown directions. We have no shelter over our heads; successive governments have done so much for the poor, but we still remain deprived of benefits."
The Wattal people are all Sunni Muslims. They believe that the Koran has life's spiritual answers, though almost none of them can read this holy book written in Classical Arabic.
They need to understand that the God of the Bible gives them dignity, worth and hope. They also need ways to earn a better living, so their children can get a good enough education to move forward economically.
* Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth His harvesters into this field to share with them His glorious message.
* May the Watal people be eternally grateful to the God who can give them dignity because of their relationship with Jesus Christ.
* May they learn His ways and teach them to others.