Introduction / History
The name "Dharkar" comes from dhar, meaning rope or cane making. The name fits the people; they have always made bamboo and rope products such as baskets that they sell in the markets. Like many communities, they often use "Dharkar" as a family surname as well as the name of their group.
Where are they located?
Most of them live either in Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh.
What are their lives like?
The 159,000 Dharkars are more likely to practice child marriage than most other scheduled caste communities. However, they are much like other communities in that their marriages are arranged by their families. Each marriage is a joining of two families morethan it is a joining of two individuals. They are much more strict about divorce than other Hindu communities.
Dharkar women are very active in household jobs, and they play a major role in ritual and economic activities. They contribute to the family income. Because their children are usually wage laborers, their literacy rate remains low.
What are their beliefs?
They worship their village deity, Deohar, and many Hindu gods like Hannaman (the monkey god), Vishnu and various spiritual powers. They speak Awadhi at home. When they have the chance, the Dharkar people listen to the radio and TV.
* Pray for excellent Christian materials like gospel recordings to be produced and widely distributed among the Dharkar people in the Awadhi language.
* Pray for radio broadcasts that will address their spiritual need to be joined with Jesus.
* Pray that as they encounter Jesus that their traditional gods will become a thing of the past.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will give them a willingness to seek and find the Savior.