Introduction / History
The Ravalia or Raval are a people group of Hindu Dalits who live in western India, though a few live in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. Their traditional occupation was transporting goods on camels or on ox carts. Modern trains and trucks have taken away their livelihood.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Now they work at any job they kind find such as street sweepers, weavers, village shamans and priests and landless farm workers. Simply getting enough food for their families is a daily struggle. The lives of the Ravalia are very difficult due to their lack of education. They mostly live in villages without the modern conveniences of electricity and indoor plumbing. The Ravalia marry within their group. Monogamy is the general rule with families arranging marriages. Girls are often married in their middle teens. Sons inherit what little property a father possesses. Widows are allowed to remarry. The Ravalia are not vegetarians. They do not eat beef. Meat is often reserved for feast days. The main foods of the Ravalia are wheat, rice, lentils, and seasonal vegetables.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Even though they are Hindus, they are denied entrance into Hindu temples and the services of Brahmin priests. The Ravalia must build their own shrines to their gods and function as their own priests.
What Are Their Needs?
The needs of this Dalit community are huge. Most of all they need to turn from their Hindu gods to the true God of the Bible. The Ravalia need training in job skills and education for their children. They need the services of modern medical care. Access to clean water would decrease the many diseases that plague the Ravalia.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to thrust out workers to the Ravalia people in Pakistan. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among the Ravalia people this decade. Pray for Ravalia elders to have a spiritual openness that will lead them to the cross.
Scripture Prayers for the Ravalia in Pakistan.