Spring Brings New

Spring brings in the NEW

Here in Jaisalmer, all is radiant with Holi colors.

Together, Folk Arts Rajasthan & Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS) embrace these goals:

  • To proclaim and spread the name “Merasi” with dignity
  • To provide stable on-going educational programs
  • To inspire progressive action by members of the community
  • To build cultural bridges throughout India and across oceans

LKSS Clicks and Flick

Sitara Khan directs Merasi to Merasi a “First”

Signaling a radical shift from the stance of being spoken about to one of self-determination, Merasi School teacher and former FAR scholarship student Sitara, age 18, wrote and directed a documentary short telling the Merasi story from her community’s perspective.

With assistance from the cameraman and longtime FAR-LKSS supporter Stephen Huyler, Nawab Khan, age 12, adeptly edited her version. Sitara’s film aims to mitigate the derogatory caste label ‘Manganiyaar’ (beggar) and bring awareness to her community.

Sitara directs the first ever LKSS-generated film

Welcoming in the Next Generation

Akaram Khan captured FAR visiting student homes during the annual site assessment.
LKSS addresses the educational needs of more than 65 children daily, offering them access to skills they would otherwise be denied.

LKSS & Merasi School continue to be the role model that sets in place a paradigm shift. During the visit, one mother told us that her very young daughter sobs every day when the rickshaw comes to pick students up, as she it not yet old enough to go to school. This is a tangible example of the excitement generated by our school.

FAR visiting student homes & families

Education Leads the Way

Jispal told this story about a Chinese group visiting his government school. Although nervous, he alone was able to read to them and carry on a basic English conversation. Surprised, when they inquired where he learned, he proudly proclaimed: “At Merasi School!”

Jispal (second from left) stands with some classmates

Bookshop Tools for the Trade

Students voiced a variety of interests and requests, then Merasi School teachers, Sitara and Rasool ji shouldered the task of fulfilling their wish list. Once in the bookshop, hours were spent in consideration before purchasing bags of books.

We discovered that students getting books from their government schools were too worried to use them because they would have to pay if they damaged them. We hope these new books will become tattered with years of use. Huge thanks to the Waterbridge Outreach team for their continued support!

Merasi School teachers Sitara Khan and Rasoolji shop for their students

Women’s Voices

Before heading off to the Peace Corps, volunteer Charlotte Smith assists FAR in Jaisalmer. Charlotte is leading art & English classes, tutoring scholarship girls, and recording women’s music for the Merasi Legacy Archive.

Women singing at a recent Merasi wedding

Deep Faith

Heartened by your generosity and your dedication to our programs, you inspire us to keep believing that we can help create better ways of living.

“Having the opportunity to go to a village and be invited into a home was a dream come true. The school was also a treat especially to see so many engrossed students. I don’t know how you put this whole project together but you have done a masterful job”

Your kind email and feedback is appreciated. Thanks Kathy.

Sapna participates in Music Merasi class

FAR Request for laptops

LKSS is in need of good condition laptops for Merasi School. If you are willing to repurpose one, send us an email FolkArtsRajasthanNews@gmail.com as soon as possible.

“No more Manganiyar (beggars)…
…we are Jaisalmer Merasi (musicians).”
Folk Arts Rajasthan, 501(c)3 314 E. 84th St #11, NY, NY 10028
212.628.7210
www.folkartrajasthan.org