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Hatkar in India


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Hatkar in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
417,000 Marathi Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Hatkar in India

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Introduction / History
The Hatkar are a subgroup of the Dhangars, or shepherd caste of Maharashtra. One source says the name Hatkar comes from the word for "cowherd." Another source says their name mean "one who is obstinate." The traditional work of the Hatkar is taking care of sheep and cattle. They are also known for weaving wool into blankets and other articles. Due to their nomadic life, low education levels are common among the Hatkars. Some Hatkar work in agriculture on small plots of land that they own. There is a debate going on now in the government about whether the Hatkars should become a Scheduled Caste and become eligible for special treatment.

The Hatkar are proud of their military tradition. The bravest and most loyal soldiers of a 17th century Marathi king Shivji were his Hatkar. The Hatkar led an unsuccessful rebellion against the British in the early 19th century. Hatkars today join and serve in the Indian Army.

The primary language of the Hatkars is Marathi. Others speak Kannada and other Indian regional languages.

Where are they located?
The largest groups of Hatkar live in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

What are their lives like?
The traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Hatkar is changing. The Indian government encourages nomadic people to live in one place, not wander around the forests, deserts and grasslands of India. More and more Hatkar are leaving their profession of raising animals to become famers and small businesspersons. A small number of educated urban Hatkars have become wealthy. However, most Hatkars fall into the lower middle and lower class category.

The Hatkar obtain the services of Brahmin priests for their important life event like births, weddings and funerals. Their babies are given a name on his or her 12th day of life. Families negotiate marriages with the father of the bride asking the father of the groom if his daughter can join his family. The dead are both cremated and buried depending upon the age and circumstances of the person who died.

The Hatkars are not vegetarians. However, they do not eat pork or beef. Their main foods are lentils, sorghum, rice, wheat, vegetables and fruit. Meat is eaten on special days and festivals.

What are their beliefs?
The Hatkar 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. The Hatkar visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. Their patron god is Khandoba, a fierce manifestation of Shiva, the destroyer god. They also worship Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu, preserver god.

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

What are their needs?
The Hatkar need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need help in gaining new job skills and in educating their children.

Prayer Points
Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Hatkar families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
Pray for Christian laborers to have wisdom in applying the pattern Jesus gave in Matthew 10 and Luke 10, leading to blessing among Hatkar households.
Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing the spread of His Gospel among the Hatkar.


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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-11-20
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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:417,000
Largest States:
Maharashtra (313,000)Karnataka (91,000)
Odisha (8,000)Andhra Pradesh (1,600)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Hatkar
People Name General: Hatkar
Alternate People Names:
Mendhpal SamajTalari
ROP3 Code: 111581
Joshua Project People ID: 16430
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 417,000
Population all Countries: 417,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Hatkar
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Marathi (214,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): mar    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Kannada (93,000)Khandesi (27,000)
Hindi (5,700)Odia (5,400)
Ahirani (5,400)Telugu (900)
Bengali (60)
Total Languages: 8
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism1.24 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism98.76 % 
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: 1807-1957
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1821-2022
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
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture / Bible
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Marathi
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: Marathi
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Marathi
Text / Printed MatterLove letter to you from scripture
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Hatkar in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Hindu - other     Asia, South    
      Hatkar India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Hatkar in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Marathi  
    All Religions                              

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