The Mochi are cobblers and saddlers and make up 4.5 million living in North, Central and some parts of South India. They are also known as Muchia, Muchhir, Mochavaru, Dalera, Kattai, Machi, Rishi, Ravidas, Sochi, Arya Kshatriya Chumas and Papachulolu.

Historically, the community was involved in the manufacture of protective leather dresses for soldiers, and the community are closely associated with the Rajput community. They share gotra names with the Rajput community.

The Mochi are involved in the manufacture of leather shoes.

The community have a traditional caste council, as is common among many North Indian artisan communities. This caste council acts as an instrument of social control, by punishing those who contravene community norms. Each caste council is headed by a chaudhary, a position that tends to be heredity. The Mochi live in multi-caste villages, but occupy their own distinct quarters.

The Mochi of Haryana claim to have migrated from Rajasthan, and are found mainly in the cantonment city of Ambala. They still speak the Braj Bhasha dialect. They are strictly endogamous, and practice clan exogamy. There traditional occupation was shoe making, but with the spread of factory manufactured shoes. The majority are landless agricultural labourers, with a small minority now taking up other professions. They enjoy scheduled caste status.

In Gujarat, the Mochi caste does not enjoy Schedule Caste in Gujarat status except Dangs district and Umargaon Taluka of Valsad district, but is categorized as Backward.

They are found in the large numbers in Sitapur, Allahabad, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Gonda, Kanpur and Lucknow districts of Uttar Pradesh (160,000), Punjab (150,000), Maharashtra (120,000), Gujarat (170,000), Assam (190,000), West Bengal (1.2 million), Bihar (49,000), Madhya Pradesh (34,000), Haryana (28,000), Andhra Pradesh where many live Krishna, Guntur, East Godavari, Hyderabad, Kurnool and Adilabad districts (16,000), Karnataka (28,000) and Orissa (9,000).

The Mochi are cobblers who make and repair leather footwear. They also make leather handbags, suitcases, saddles, harnesses and leather aprons. They sell from shops in the bazaar or from a pavement or from under a shady tree. They also polish shoes and sell shoelaces and upper soles with their portable shoeshine boxes in busy public places like railway stations, bus stations, market squares and busy street pavements. A few are employed in government offices doing lowly clerical jobs. Some work as casual daily labourers in agriculture and industry. Most of them do not have any land so they may practice sharecropping in someone else’s fields.

The Mochi‘s worth and self esteem is linked to their status as degraded people under the Hindu caste system. The Mochi need schools and the finances to send their children to school.