Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Like many communities in South Asia, the surname and the name of the people group are the same. Watal is a surname, but also the name of a people group. Traditionally they were tanners, and they still work in the tanning industry. This is one of the lowest status jobs in South Asia.
All of the Watal people live in the Kashmiri Valley, some in India and others in Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
The Watal people once experienced prejudice when they tried to enter a mosque. They are Muslims, but being tanners, they are given low status not only by Hindus, but also by other Muslim communities. They are landless, illiterate, poor, and without political or social power.
What are their beliefs?
The Wattal people are all Sunni Muslims. They believe that the Koran has life's spiritual answers, though almost none of them can read this holy book written in Classical Arabic.
What are their needs?
They need to understand that the God of the Bible gives them dignity, worth and hope. They also need ways to earn a better living, so their children can get a good enough education to move forward economically.
Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth his harvesters into this field to share with them his glorious message.
May the Watal people be eternally grateful to the God who can give them dignity because of their relationship with Jesus Christ.
May they learn his ways and teach them to others.
ReferencesView Wattal (Muslim traditions) in all countries.
J&K book, pp 690-96)