Who are the Dalits? - Proyecto Misionero en India
One of the more confusing mysteries of India is her caste system. The caste system has existed for more than 3,000 years. The Dalits are the lowest of the Indian caste system. In fact their status is so low that the word Dalit translates into Untouchable or Broken People.
A Dalit is not considered part of human society, but instead is considered something less than human. The Dalit generally perform the most menial and degrading jobs. Caste rules hold that Dalits pollute higher caste people with their presence. If higher caste Hindus touch an untouchable or even come within a Dalit’s shadow, they undergo rigorous series of cleansing rituals.
Approximately 250 million Indians (a full 25% of the population), are the Dalit. In a country where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, one out of four people are condemned to be untouchable.
Although the Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms for all Indians, Dalit are systematically abused. The Dalit are poor, deprived and are social outcasts. Their most basic needs of food, shelter, and safety are not fulfilled. They also cannot access decent education and employment. The systematic denial of their basic human rights results in a lack of education, food, healthcare, and economic opportunity, thereby keeping the Dalit in perpetual bondage to the upper castes.
Why do I share this information about the Dalits? The next HOPE Outreach will be in Mumbai, India. We will be reaching out to our oppressed and downtrodden sisters in this city of 13 million people. Our outreach will consist of Leadership Training, Women’s Conferences, and Impact Ministry.
We will be traveling to Mumbai in May to complete a discipleship/leadership training retreat for 100 Pastor’s wives and lay leaders. These women will be encouraged, taught, and equipped to build women’s ministry within their churches and communities.
October 20th-November 4th, 2008, we will be taking a team over to participate in the impact ministries as well as two large scale evangelical conferences. The impact ministries we have selected are the building and equipping of a vocational training center in the Kanjur slum. This slum has over 10,000 people living in it with a high Dalit population. Our 2nd impact ministry will be at the Kholpoli Nazarene Orphanage. We will be doing work on the orphanage building, providing bed, furniture, and much need building repairs. Not to mention loving on the children.
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