Breaking New Ground
Despite entrenched prejudice complicated by worsening climate hardship, Literacy and Music Preservation programs willfully provide a sustainable infrastructure continuously promoting respect for the human dignity of Merasi children.

 Irphan and Sahil transplanted to Jaisalmer for education

    Accelerating Possibilities
Meaningful Changes
This summer FAR observes graduations, weddings and a myriad of beginnings. Teacher Seema assumes the role of principal at Merasi School. Former principal Sitara married a feminist from Bikaneer supportive of her MA goals. An upsurge of young women choosing to study at the college level is significant.

We witness momentous upticks in the powers of self-confidence, autonomy, and cooperative decision-making leadership while young adults deftly serve children through unprecedented challenges.

Standing Ovations
A growing number of former students are making history applying for previously inaccessible jobs. Their Mandatory 10th Grade Government Certificates now offer access to the coveted secure livelihood most often denied the community.

Cultural legacy voices of NW Rajasthan unite with American India Foundation Fellows
AIF offers immersive bi-national volunteerships shaping the next generation of leaders committed to positive and sustainable change. Banyan Impact Fellows practice service across diverse areas.
Our fellow Saisirisha Kavuri joined her cohort on the virtual graduation stage. During a week of project presentations and inspiring speakers she explained how Activity-Based Learning must improve the quality of education at Merasi School.
Keynote Speaker India Consul General of New York, Mr. Randhir Jaiswal, mentioned our partners by their preferred term Merasi to jubilation on the ground.
This high note has been proudly disseminated to Jaisalmer District villages and sounds in concert with teacher Nawab Khan’s explicit statement “I can say with full confidence that we all have grown as by working with Shree and AIF”. Those once without a voice are seeing and now feeling their clear path ahead.
Memorable Reflection
Concluding the first Hearts with Hope USA Tour, the troupe sat at the airport gate. Imagining they might mention the Smithsonian National Museum, FAR asked what was their favorite during 60-days of Merasi performances. The answer... “the best part was that people called us by our own names instead of manganiyaar” (the derogatory label meaning beggar).
Creation of Long-Term Resilience
This Fall, AIF Fellow Ashley Benedict jumps in helping to infuse musical narrative elements into a fresh school curriculum. Be on the lookout for emerging expressions of legacy and cultural identity.

Merasi School enthusiastically displays art on India’s 75th Independence Day

Incessant Downpours
Torrential summer monsoon continues to decimate students' homes. Delivery of tarps lend help to protect the few possessions of most families.
    Stifling humidity breeds household mold in the desert climate

On many days, action on the ground is colored by marginalization.
Rising above the daily speedbumps, our strong alliance continues with your support.

Photographs by Akaram Khan
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Folk Arts Rajasthan
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