Introduction / History
The Manihar have a name derived from two Sanskrit words, mana and kara. Mana meaning 'precious stone' and kara meaning 'maker'. Therefore the Manihar have been known for their occupation of making and selling glass, lac or ivory bangles for many years. Over half of a million Manihar are spread over Pakistan, north India and Nepal. They can be found in nine different zones of Nepal.
What are their lives like?
The business of making and selling of bangles has long been the livelihood of Manihar communities. Due to the limited availability of elephant tusks for ivory, many bangles and beads now are manufactured in plastics. Today some Manihar take other jobs including tailoring. The literacy rate among the Manihar tends to be low. They speak primary Nepali and use Urdu and Bhojpuri in Nepal and mainly Urdu and Hindi in India. They are Sunni Muslims and tend to share foods with other Muslim families but traditionally do not allow marriage outside their community. Siddiqi can be a common surname.
What are their needs?
In India workers are just beginning to work among the larger populations but in Nepal the work has yet to begin. Pray for individuals with a Muslim background that can begin work among them in this Hindu background nation.
Text source: Anonymous