The Lambani Community

Introduction

The Lambani communities are gypsies by tradition and live across Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, and Northern Karnataka. They also go by the name “Banjara”. The Lambani community are said to have originated from the area between Bikaner in Rajasthan, India and Bahawalpur in Pakistan.

Lambani women can be identified by their proud flaunting of colorful clothes and jewelry. Seen here is a Lambani woman on a farm.  Picture credit.
History

Not many people know this, but the Lambanis were originally a class of Kshatriyas (the warrior class in early India). After the Rajputs fell and resisting the invasion of the Mughals, they were forced to change their religion, face many atrocities and they finally migrated to the jungles found across the Western Ghats in South India. After the Mughal empire fell, the Lambanis tried to go back to their ancestral property in Rajasthan but found them to be occupied by other locals.

Later, they spread to Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh and took up different activities including farming, cattle rearing, and poultry farming. The dominant language includes Lambadi, a Rajasthani dialect – but they also speak Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and other local languages depending on where they have settled. Though settled, they are still considered a nomadic community and therefore suffer various stereotypes attributed to gypsies.

Unfortunately, many people in the Lambani community have struggled for decades to fight these unfair stereotypes. The result has been total ostracization of many Lambani communities by the dominant local community where they have settled. This meant the Lambanis were unable to get local jobs, their children not allowed to local schools, and their women unfairly mistreated by society.

The present generation

The Lambani communities of today have woken up to keep pace with the rest of the country. They have settled down in specific settlements, their children are attending local schools, and there is an overall general awareness on health, education, and safety amongst the community. Many have gone ahead to pursue higher degrees to be qualified professionals in their fields of choice.

Still, a majority of the community has been left isolated due to lack of hygiene, social awareness, and being unemployable. Satsang Vidyalaya hopes to address this by educating the current generation of children - thus ensuring that they and their future generations stand in good stead.

1 comments:

Its high time we bring about a change in the lives of the underprivileged. Every should contribute to such initiatives by whatever way its possible

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