Introduction / History The Kalwar or Kalal (in India) are said to derive their name from the Sanskrit word for 'distiller of alcohol' or kalyapala. This community is known as the Muslim distillers and sellers of liquor. Based on this tradition the Kalwar have a relatively low social status. Several million Kalwar are Hindus in India but only a small portion are Muslims. In Nepal there is also a small community of Muslims.
What are their lives like? Though traditionally distillers and liquor sellers, the Kalwar are involved today in a variety of trading and selling as well as in labour and some in agriculture. Their position in society in Nepal is one of a more depressed or unclean caste but they are 'touchable'. They speak Nepali, Bhojpuri and Urdu and tend to be favourable to formal education in some areas of India. They are Sunni Muslim and follow the traditional rites of birth (aqiqa), marriage (mangn, manja, nikah, sindoordan ) and dead. Married women wear the nose-stud (nakchhabi). They have traditional shared food with other Muslims but have not with Hindu groups.
What are their needs? Some success in sharing Christ has borne fruit among the Hindu Kalwar but no known work has even begun among the Muslim community. Pray that workers might be found and that other believing Kalwar could bridge the gap into the Muslim community.