Malhar Koli in India

The Koli Malhar have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Malhar Koli are an indigenous Hindu people group who live in western state of Maharashtra in India. The word Koli means "fisherman." Some sources consider the Malhar to be a Koli subgroups while others consider them to be separate. The Malhar are a Scheduled Tribe meaning that they are entitled to public jobs and special consideration for university admissions. The primary language of the Malhar is Marathi. Many resources are available in Marathi including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film. A tiny group among the Malhar call themselves followers of Jesus. Many Malhar are unable to read and write so the gospel will have to be presented to them in oral and visual forms.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In addition to being in the fishing business, some Malhar work as water carriers especially in the places where there is not much rain. The Mahlar often use government benefits that are available to them. They have a traditional caste council to look after their interests and settle legal disputes. The Malhar Koli are endogamous, meaning they prefer to marry within their group. They have monogamous marriages, meaning one man and one wife. Marriages are arranged by families. They allow for divorce and remarriage. On the death of the father, property goes to the sons with the oldest son taking charge as the new head of the household. As in most tribal peoples of India, illiteracy is a major issue for the Malhar especially for the women and girls. Malhar children frequently quit school after a few years to help their parents earn a living.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all of Koli are Hindus. Hindus usually have a pragmatic approach to religion; they worship the gods they believe will protect them and provide for their needs. The Hinduism of the Malhar is heavily mixed with folk religion and ancestor worship. The Malhar believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature. The spirits must be appeased, or the evil spirits can bring disaster upon the people.


What Are Their Needs?

The Malhar Koli people need the opportunity to allow Jesus Christ to enrich their lives physically, economically and spiritually. Some Malhar villages are without electricity. Solar panels would greatly improve their lives. They often lack access to clean water and modern medicine. The Malhar must hear and understand the message about Jesus Christ to have their sins forgiven and to obtain eternal life.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Koli traditional council leaders will come to Jesus Christ and lead others to Him. Pray that Indian followers of Christ will lead them into an unstoppable disciple making movement to Christ. Pray that good schools and modern medicine becomes available to the Malhar. Pray that the small Malhar church would grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.


Scripture Prayers for the Koli Malhar in India.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Koli Malhar
People Name in Country Koli Malhar
Natural Name Malhar Koli
Population this Country 369,000
Population all Countries 369,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 7
Alternate Names Chumli; Danbhari; Kunum; Mahratta Kunbi; Malhan; Malhar; Pan; Panbari; कोली मल्हार
People ID 17212
ROP3 Code 112578
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 20
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Maharashtra
333,000
Karnataka
11,000
Madhya Pradesh
8,600
Gujarat
5,200
Telangana
4,700
Odisha
1,400
Tamil Nadu
700
Andhra Pradesh
600
Chhattisgarh
300
Kerala
300
Delhi
200
Uttar Pradesh
200
Rajasthan
90
Goa
60
Dadra and Nagar Have
50
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 20
  Maharashtra 333,000
  Karnataka 11,000
  Madhya Pradesh 8,600
  Gujarat 5,200
  Telangana 4,700
  Odisha 1,400
  Tamil Nadu 700
  Andhra Pradesh 600
  Chhattisgarh 300
  Kerala 300
  Delhi 200
  Uttar Pradesh 200
  Rajasthan 90
  Goa 60
  Dadra and Nagar Have 50
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Marathi (259,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 24
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Konkani
34,000
Gujarati
6,000
Kannada
4,300
Hindi
3,300
Odia
1,200
Bhili
1,100
Telugu
800
Ahirani
700
Konkani, Goan
400
Khandesi
200
Nimadi
200
Punjabi, Eastern
70
Urdu
60
Korku
30
Kacchi
20
Primary Language Marathi (259,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 24
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Konkani 34,000
  Gujarati 6,000
  Kannada 4,300
  Hindi 3,300
  Odia 1,200
  Bhili 1,100
  Telugu 800
  Ahirani 700
  Konkani, Goan 400
  Khandesi 200
  Nimadi 200
  Punjabi, Eastern 70
  Urdu 60
  Korku 30
  Kacchi 20
People Groups Speaking Marathi

Primary Language:  Marathi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1807-1957)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1982)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1821-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Marathi
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
General Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
General Gospel website in this language
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
1.05 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.04 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
98.54 %
Islam
0.16 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.02 %
Unknown
0.19 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more