Shared Vision 

Two separate non-profit organizations collaborate internationally with the intention of a thriving and just future for upcoming generations of the Merasi community and their musical culture.

 

Guiding Values

This approach recognizes that education, preserving an Intangible Cultural Heritage, and achieving social justice for the continually disadvantaged are mutually dependent goals.

Folk Arts Rajasthan and Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan value equality and inclusivity, promote dignity and respect, together nurturing capable Merasi youth facing obstinate hierarchical norms. We believe education must always be the brightest light guiding children to their future.

Legacy

The Jaisalmer Merasi are a community of northwestern Rajasthan (India) who carry a unique musical tradition more than 800 years old. Theirs is an Intangible Cultural Heritage as defined by UNESCO. 

Offering safe access to free education along with classes and activities preserving their culture, the bonds of illiteracy & marginalization are being eradicated.

These advantages encourage young Merasi to embody positive self-identity and be aware of the routes open to achieve autonomy, fairness, and secure livelihoods.

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Musical Narrative

This traditional folk community is considered pollution by virtue of touching the skins of dead animals on their instruments. They are denied fair access to education, healthcare, and political representation.

Most live in poverty, yet aspire to improve their situation with education. Despite persistent prejudice, they persevere in their roles as oral genealogists, storytellers, and musicians, while being recognized globally as indisputable talent.

 

Proclaiming their rightful and dignified identity as “Mirasi” the keepers of regional history, they have shed the derogatory label ‘Manganiyar’, proudly embracing ‘Merasi’, as a resolute symbol of self-determination.

Collaborating Cohort

 
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Sitara Khan
Merasi School Principal
& Teacher

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Dr. Sarwar Khan
Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan &
Merasi School Director

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Arbaj Khan 
Music Merasi Teacher

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Suriya Khan
Merasi School Advisor

 

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Saina Khan
Merasi School Teacher

 

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Karen Lukas
Folk Arts Rajasthan Director

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Akaram Khan
Merasi School Staff

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Marina F-Buil
Legacy Partner

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Seema Khan
Merasi School Teacher

 

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Lisa Darling
FAR Program Manager

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Nawab Khan
Merasi School Teacher

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Josie Ali 
FAR Volunteer

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Saisirisha Kavuri 
AIF Banyan Impact Fellow

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Stephen Huyler
Youth Advisor

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Jimmy Daukas
FAR Board Member

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Student Leader
Merasi School

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Shahjad Khan
Music Merasi Teacher

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Jeanne Feeney
FAR Board Member

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Jules Feeney 
Youth Advisor

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Satar Khan 
Computer Tutor

Your Support Makes The Difference!