Introduction / History
The Naikda are among the original Dravidian inhabitants of the regions of South Asia they now live. They were hunter-gatherers of the forest until the time of the British administration. The Naikdas cleared wooded areas and became agricultural workers. Some owned land and others did not own land.
Both in 1858 and 1868 the Naikdas rebelled against British rule. As more and more non-tribal peoples moved into the their land, the mostly illiterate Naikdas lost ownership of their lands and forest resources. They attacked local police stations and government buildings in protest.
Most live in India, but some are in Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
Most Naikdas live as agricultural workers. Most do not have electricity and indoor plumbing. Some work as woodcutters or have migrated to the cities to labor as unskilled persons in factories to send home money to their families. Men hunt in the forest to obtain meat and animal skins to sell. By Indian standards the Naikdas are some of the poorest people in the nation.
The main foods of the Naikdas are rice, millet and wheat. Seasonal vegetables also make up the bulk of their diet. They do eat meat except beef when it is available which is not the norm.
Families and clans arrange marriages. Both adult and child marriage is practiced. Marriage of cousins is common. The groom lives with or near his parents' home. Sons inherit property but daughters do if there are no sons in a family.
Since the Naikdas are a tribal people and for the most part illiterate. They have low status. Alcohol consumption is a common among the Naikdas.
What are their beliefs?
The Naikdas consider themselves to be Hindus. They also practice folk religion and animism, the belief that spirits in habit the various parts of nature. Some Naikdas use Brahmin priests in life rituals like weddings, births and death. Others use local elders and village priests.
The Naikdas worship the Hindu gods, Brahma, Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and Kali. They participate in the traditional Hindu holidays such as Holi, the festival of color, and Diwali, the celebration of lights. Married women observe Divaso. This holiday is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed for a happy and prosperous family life.
What are their needs?
The Naikdas need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior. A particular need for this tribal people is for Christian schools and teachers.
Pray the Lord of the harvest sends Christian workers and teachers to this needy people.
Pray that Christian agencies do more to alleviate the poverty of the Naikdas.
Pray that the Lord raises up Bible-believing churches in the Naikda community.
Pray for the Lord to show himself strong and loving by blessing the Naikda people in every way.