Introduction / History
Madiga people are a scheduled caste, which means they have very little status in India.
Where Are they Located?
They are found mainly in the southern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and also Maharashtra. In Andhra Pradesh, they are also called Adi Andhra, and Jambvalu. They live mainly in the rural regions.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Traditional work of Madiga people is making footwear, leather work and tanning. The women help in hide tanning, and act as midwives. They work in agriculture, though not many own their own land. In urban regions, many work in industry. They are not vegetarians, and they eat beef, and rice cereal. They are usually less than average in height.
Madiga people speak, read, and write Telugu, and also Tamil. This is important, because audio and visual Bible resources are available both of these large languages. They are not all literate.
Marriage is permitted among cousins. Marriages are usually arranged by exchange or by discussion among family members. Divorce is not allowed, but the bereaved may remarry. Inheritance goes to the oldest son.
A traditional caste council judges in disputes among Madiga people.
This large, low status caste is spread across much of India. It will require many workers and much effort to effectively carry the gospel to them wherever they live.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Madiga people are mostly Hindus, though they are not vegetarian. Some are Buddhists, and it is reported that many have become Christians.
What Are Their Needs?
Though Madiga people speak many languages in their localities, Bible audio and written resources are not available in every language they speak. Since their literacy rate is low, there is a particular need for audio resources in a language that they are able to understand, if not their own heart language.
They need to understand that the gods they worship cannot give them eternal life, nor can they correct their sin issues.
Pray that those who are true believers will lead those who are not to an understanding of the true creator God who loves them and paid the penalty for their sins. Pray for new church planting activities among them.
Pray that Christ followers will have a major positive influence in every area of Madiga community life.
Pray that increased educational opportunities among Madiga people will improve their quality of life.
Pray that their need for literacy skills will be met by disciples who can help them with reading and basic skills.
Scripture Prayers for the Madiga (Hindu traditions) in India.
Singh, K.S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford university Press, USA 1999