Hari caste

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For disambiguation, see Haris.

The Haris (Bengali: হাড়ি) are people of indigenous origin found in large numbers in Birbhum, Bankura and other districts in the western fringe of the Indian state of West Bengal.[1][2]

The Haris numbered 390,619 in the 2001 census and were 2.1 per cent of the scheduled caste population of West Bengal. 49.5 per cent of the Haris were literate – 61.6 per cent males and 36.8 per cent females were literate.[3]

Traditionally, the Haris were scavengers, sweepers and swine herds but some were cultivators. In Birbhum district, they were divided into four subcastes: Bhuinmali or cultivators, Dai/ Phul Hari or midwives, Kahar Hari or palanquin bearers, and Mehtar Hari or sweepers.[1]


  1. ^ a b O’Malley, L.S.S., Bengal District Gazeteers, Birbhum, p.41, 1996 edition, Government of West Bengal
  2. ^ O’Malley, L.S.S., Bengal District Gazaeteers, Bankura, pp. 65-67, 1995 edition, Government of West Bengal
  3. ^ "West Bengal, Census of India 2001, Data Highlights – The Scheduled Castes" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General, India. Retrieved 2009-06-28.