GYPSY MINISTRY

RIVER OF LIFE MINISTRIES

As the river that flows invariably into wilderness, dooms and ditches, which quenches the thirst of multitudes remarks the name of the ministry, “THE RIVER OF LIFE MINISTRIES”. This ministry dawned in the year 1999 at Pallavaram amidst a lot of enmities, trouble and crisis. As the Lord says, “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble”. Ps. 41:1. The ministry reached the under privileged the broken part of the society, “the Gypsies”, or “Narikoravas”. These people where pushed to barren lands where food, water is scar elite sector, closed their eyes to these longing souls but as the scripture says “they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick”.

Since gypsies or Narikoravas are people bound to animal sacrifices, sickness, witchcrafts. Their lives were in pain, sorrow, bond to debts, misery.

To touch the lives of these people was the sole vision of our ministry. The word of the Lord was proclaimed to transform their wales to gleas of joy as the Lord says in the verse “songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Is. 35:10.

To win the souls and move their mind to divine realm need to be supported with a lot of earthly material. Since the Lord says, “The spirit is willing but the body is weak”. (Mat. 25:40)

The focus of the people is to get their basic needs not anything that is great. The Good Samaritan he himself provided food with when he preached the word, on the mount.

So we do supply food by providing raw rice bags to these people every week. This task is mamoth but it is again strengthened by the kind hearts who donate generously.

If not food alone a basic need that has to be supported. The people are thought to wear decent clothes. Because the narikoravgas do not have civic sense.

Educational support is provided to elevate their lives to reach the horizon of civilized life.

When modernization has conquered the world, westernization has captured hearts there in corner and fringes of cities and villages still dwells the unprivileged fragmented sect of people who know not what civilization is. The tribal community, the forefather’s of ancient India, whose identity is still a quest.

According to their oral traditions, they have migrated to their present habitat from central and northern parts of India. The “Narikoravas” or “Kuruvikaras”, reminding the pages of history to spot who these people are and what is their origin. Gives the answer that these people the Narikoravas are basically the tribal community who are an endogamous clan, moved to mountains where the people became bird trappers and animal hunters.

They are nomadic sect of people who move from place to place based on availability of birds and animals. When the availability is untamed they change settlement.

Culture

Sense of community feeling is strong among the Narikoravas - They express a sense of respect to their own life ways as well their own persons. When in difficulty, a person or family is provided help and cooperation by others. This attitude to life, their beliefs and values continue to be intact in traditional style. The youngsters regard the elders greatly. Inspite of the liberty given to the sons and daughters in a family, the major decisions are always taken by the parents. Even then the sons are mature enough; the parents’ approval in regard to family matter is sought. There are set ideal norms in the social structure. Breaking social norms is not a regular feature. Rather, it is rare and occasional. The person challenging the norms has to face a trial in most of the cases. A traditional council (Panchayat) affects all social control with “talaivan” (their traditional head man). The council does not spare the wrong doer. The “talaivan” is depended upon for resolving disputes through compromise and compensation.

Language

The word Vaagri in Gujnarati language means “bird catcher”. Population is around 10,000 or more (1970 Varma). The language belongs to Indo - Aryan family. These people are bilinguals. They speak the regional language in addition to their mother tongue Vaagri boli. They are so ignorant that they do not know what language they speak.

Religion

Their religion was animism, they are nature worshippers, they know not the Saviour.

Economic Status

Their livelihood is mainly on hunting. The women folk sell garlands made of colour beads, needles, hooks and combs made of wood. The men folk sell birds and animals and indigenous medicines, especially prepared by them out of the flesh of certain birds and animals as well as the wild roots. Being nomadic they do not know agriculture. They are living in the world of poverty. The state of poverty can be marked by observing their general standards of living. There is nothing surplus in their economy. Their survival is based on daily earning. Food is scarce. Life is a burden to these people.

Education

Education among Narikkuravas is not developing fast. In general, the children have lack of interest in studies and education. Their mind is bent towards trapping and selling rather than attending a school. The parents are not convinced of the practical utility of education for their children. Lack of education leads to exploitation.

Exploiting the Ignorant

Since education level is low and their status of economy is much below the poverty level the Narikkuravas with their meager income try to track their life by borrowing money from greedy money lenders. Who exploit the ignorance by doubling the interest and make the poor soul pay money for life time, almost like bounded slaves. Their economic position is getting from bad to worse.

Helping Hand

To facilitate their life and make them feel better. This ministry is trying to the brim to help these people to walk the way of life in a lighter way. The pig farm which is planned and designed to suit their life style as well as lessen their burden. This pig farm needs a lot of helping hand.

Little drops of water makes the Mighty Ocean. Let’s join hands to brighten the life of the underprivileged.

Need

Food, clothing, educating is not only the needs but what is the solution which will develop their lives. To bring them from nomadic movement to settled life was a thought.

The Lord provided a good solution. It is nothing but a “Pig farm”. These people are known for livestock rearing, pig rearing and birds. So it was right to make them develop in knowledge which is known to them than providing something that is alien to them.

Pig farm is where piglets are purchased reared and sold to hotels for their meat. By this the people are taught to earn their living.