Introduction / History
The Aray Mala are a subgroup of the greater Mala peoples who are Dalits from southern India. Dalits are beneath the four major Hindu caste groupings, which mean they have very low status in India. However, because of their low status, they are eligible for public jobs and special consideration for university admissions.
The main language of the Aray is Telegu. Smaller groups also speak Kannada and Marathi as their first language. Many Christian resources are available in Telugu including a whole Bible and JESUS Film.
Where are they located?
The small Aray Mala people group is scattered throughout Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
What are their lives like?
Most of the Aray Mala work in agriculture as landless laborers. Their children often have to join their parents working in the fields to help support their families. Most are illiterate or functionally illiterate. The Aray Mala live lives of poverty. If local crops fail, they can face starvation. As Dalits, they receive discrimination with regards to employment and education. Even if an Aray person learns a new job skill, they are often not hired due to their Dalit status.
The most rural Aray live in villages without electricity, indoors plumbing and access to modern medicine. Clean water is also an issue and many Aray children die young due to the unsafe water they drink. Life expectancy is low for the Aray Mala.
Many young people are moving to cities seeking a better life for themselves and for their children. They take any job they can get including as factory workers, streets, sweepers, ditch diggers, and security guards.
What are their beliefs?
The Aray Mala people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. 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. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
The main yearly holidays of the Aray Mala people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
What are their needs?
The Aray have many needs. They need help in educating their children and in gaining new job skills. They need the benefits of modern medicine. Solar panels could bring electricity to Aray villages. Most of all, the Aray need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and bring them hope for a better tomorrow.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Aray Mala people teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Aray Mala families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Aray Mala families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Aray Mala family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
ReferencesView Aray Mala in all countries.