Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Dhanka are also known as Dhankia. They are a sub-division of India's Bhil tribes.
In the past, the Dhanka were forest hunters or engaged in the services of landowners as farmers or guards. Nearly 70% of the Dhanka migrated to cities by 1960.
Over 90% of the Dhanka are Hindus, but small numbers are Muslims or Christians. Over half of the Dhanka live in Gujarat state with smaller populations in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and a small population in Madhya Pradesh. An even smaller number are further west in neighboring Pakistan. Those in Pakistan speak Sindhi rather than Gujarati.
What are their lives like?
They no longer have any land for agriculture and after migrating into the cities and they no longer have farming skills. The Dhanka often work in electricity and water works departments. Dhanka only marry within their community.
Although the Dhanka are known as hard workers, they are often very poor.
What are their beliefs?
In both India and Pakistan, the Dhanka people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. 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 other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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 Dhanka people need the Holy Spirit to open their eyes so they can see Jesus as he is.
Prayer PointsView Dhanka in all countries.
Pray for many from this unreached people group to understand both God's judgment and his majestic glory.
Pray for loving workers to go to the Dhanka people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their savior.
Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that result in thousands of new disciples who share their faith with others.
Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.