Introduction / History
Carpentry has been the traditional source of livelihood for the Sutradhar community in India, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Where are they located?
Most of the Sutradhar people live in India's West Bengal state and Bangladesh. A few live further north in Bhutan.
What are their lives like?
Sutradhars are a Hindu carpenter caste, strongly skilled in door designs, windows, boats, temple walls, and agricultural implements. The contemporary furniture industry has brought significant changes to the way Sutradhars live and work. Many of them now work under entrepreneurs in urban settings. Some, who can prove their adeptness, can be well paid, but the majority, who are novices, can barely survive on their earnings. In Hindu societies, the Sutradhars hold a low caste position.
What are their beliefs?
The majority are followers of the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism, but some are Shakta. Vishwakarma is their patron deity and Lakshmi their family deity. They also worship village deities. Dakshineswar, Tarakeshwar, Puri, etc. are pilgrimage centers. A Brahman priest serves to perform birth, marriage and death rites.
What are their needs?
These people need training that will give them new opportunities and make them more employable as the economy changes.
Pray that God's people will be stirred and motivated to go to the Sutradhars with the gospel of peace.
Pray for spiritual release to occur among the Sutradhars.
Pray that these creative people will put their trust in the carpenter from Nazareth.
Text source: Keith Carey