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Introduction / History
Korkus are Adivasis (tribals) who never complain. The Korkus in Maharashtra, India came into the world's media spotlight in 1992. BBC came into the interior villages, reporting on children belonging to Korku tribe starving as the outside world looked on in amazement. Help came in the form of food packets and medicines through World Health Organization. Many voluntary organizations stepped in to help with similar measures. Today these incidents have long been forgotten. Awagad is one of the Korku villages. They live mainly in Central India, but some live in Bangladesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
These low status people earn very little money. Each week they sell what they can produce through vegetables, the firewood they gather in the forests, and other commodities. Those with more power take from them much of what they earn. If the Korku manages to offer a chicken or a bottle of country liquor to a forestry official, he may be exempted from a government fine. Every year during the harvest, each Korku family has to supply 5 kilos of grain to the forest guards - another example of exploitation. Korku in Awagad live in literal darkness, in the absence of electric supply. Many years before, electric supply had been extended to the village. Because of the objection of the forest department, electric lines were never completed because they might touch a tree and start a fire. In Makla village, situated 11 km away from Semoda, condition was even worse. Electricity had not reached there. The ill-fated villagers have to go to Churnia, another hill town, trekking many miles to buy kerosene, that too at a double price. Korkus found it easier to keep wood burning all night to keep the village lit. In summer, people of Awagad feel an acute shortage of water. Two wells dug by the government were dried up. Tube well, which was dug a year back, was not functioning. Once in a while, a wobbling truck loaded with water reaches there. Since the plastic tank setup for emptying the trucks was flown away, the remaining water had to be released to one of the dried well. They have a small school with two classrooms. Pupils up to fourth standard are supposed to be taught there. After receiving the appointment order and working for two months, the teacher went home and never to be returned. In Awagad there were neither ration depots (fair price shops for the poor) nor public health centers. Some doctors frequent there seeking patients selling medicines and treat all sicknesses. According to government records, many roads, bridges and buildings were constructed. But all these were alleged to be swept away in the rains. Wooden pillars erected from the floor are the main base for their houses. The roof is thatched with bamboo frames and handmade tiles. Bamboo mats form the skeleton of the walls, then smeared with mud. Korku Village Mission had been in existence 100 years ago in Chikaldara focusing on Korku tribes. Korku Baptist Mission, founded by Americans with their mission compound and activities were withdrawn in late 40s handing over the responsibility to the Baptist Church Association at the district headquarters. In 1981, Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM) took over this field and began an outreach training institute in Chikaldara. The missionaries who were trained there worked among many tribes and communities in general and Korkus in particular.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Korku people need education, better health care, and political empowerment to rise above the cycle of exploitation.
* Scripture Prayers for the Korku in Bangladesh.
Pray for the Lord to provide for their physical and spiritual needs as a testimony of his power and love. Pray that the Korku people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade. Source Philipose Vaidyar, Copyrighted © Used with permission