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.
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.
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.
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.