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Jhalo Malo in India

Jhalo Malo

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Jhalo Malo in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
443,000 Bengali Hinduism 0.09 % Unknown   

Jhalo Malo in India

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Introduction / History
The Jhalo Malo are a Dalit group of people who live in Bengali region of northeast India and Bangladesh. Malo means "boatman" in Arabic. The traditional occupation of the Jhalo Malo is that of fishing. They fish with nets in the Bay of Bengal and in the rivers of northeast India.

The Malo also work as landless laborers in agriculture. They constitute a Scheduled Caste in India meaning they are eligible for special consideration for public jobs and university admission.

Unfortunately, the Malo are looked down upon by Indian society. Brahmin castes will not receive food or water from them. Illiteracy is a big problem with many Malo people unable to read or write. The Indian government is trying to raise the educational and economic levels of the Malo. Much work still needs to be done.

The primary language of the Jhalo Malo is Bengali. Others speak Assamese, Hindi and other languages of India.

Where are they located?
The largest community of Jhalo Malo lives in the Indian states of west Bengal and Assam. Smaller groups live other regions of north and central India.

What are their lives like?
The lives of the Jhalo Malo are difficult. When fishing is good, they can earn enough money to feed their families. When fishing is bad, they can starve. Landless farm workers often live by the whim of the landowners.

The Jhalo Malo marry within their caste but not within their particular clan or family. Families arrange marriages. Fortunately, child marriage of Jhalo girls is disappearing. Sons inherit what little property a father possesses.

Since most Brahmins refuge to associate with them, the Malo priests officiate at important life ceremonies such as births, weddings and funerals. The Malo dead are cremated often near a river.

The main foods of the Jhalo Malo are fish, rice, curries, vegetables and other grains.

As Hindus, they do not eat beef.

Caste councils promote the Malo interests and decide legal disputes.

What are their beliefs?
The Jhalo Malo are Hindus and devoted to Vishnu, the preserver god and his avatars, especially Rama and Krishna. Malo are often denied entrance into Hindu temples so they have their own shrines and places of worship.

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 Malo visit shrines and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their god Vishnu and his consort.

The main yearly holidays of the Jhalo Malo people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the celebration of autumn.

What are their needs?
The Jhalo Malo as Dalits have tremendous spiritual and physical needs. They need help in educating their children. They would benefit by modern medicine. They need help in learning new job skills to escape their poverty. Most of all, they need to hear the life changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the Lord sends Christian workers to help the Jhalo Malo.
* Pray that the Jhalo Malo turn away from Vishnu and open their hearts to Jesus.
* Pray that Indian Christians would reach out and share the gospel with them.
* Pray that whole families of the Jhalo Malo are brought to the Savior and that Bible believing churches are planted in the Malo people.


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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:443,000
Largest States:
West Bengal (315,000)Assam (99,000)
Odisha (14,000)Jharkhand (9,200)
Meghalaya (2,900)Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1,000)
Bihar (700)Tripura (400)
Delhi (200)Arunachal Pradesh (200)
Total States on file:15
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Jhalo Malo
People Name General: Jhalo Malo
Alternate People Names:
MaloMalo Patni
झालो मालो
ROP3 Code: 112331
Joshua Project People ID: 17007
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 443,000
Population all Countries: 690,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Bengali
People Name General: Jhalo Malo
Ethnic Code: CNN25b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bengali (320,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ben    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Assamese (83,000)Hindi (26,000)
Odia (12,000)Kurux (400)
Mundari (300)Kui (200)
Santhali (200)Maithili (80)
Total Languages: 9
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.09 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.91 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1800-1980
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1809-2000
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Bangla Version (F ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Mussolmani Versio ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament- Common Version (FC ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Bengali
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoI Am Guilty (
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Burning Heart (
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Mussulmani-Bangla, Kitabul Mukkad ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Standard Bangla Common Language
Text / Printed MatterBible: কিতাবুল মোক ...
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterChrist for the Nations
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Jhalo Malo in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bengali     South Asia    
      Jhalo Malo India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Jhalo Malo in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Bengali  
    All Religions                              

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