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 School Washrooms For The Merasi School ~ Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

12. FAR-MerasiSchool Boys red door, painted gallery
19.FAR Come Visit MS_2631s
10 FAR-MerasiSchool Girl WC ready to go_3272
1b. FAR-MerasiSchool SK KL_9713
1c. FAR-MS what is next_9703s
2b. FAR No entry Kl Sahil_0257s
3 FAR-MerasiSchool_0737
4. FAR-MS Rubble Away Labor_0921
4b. FAR MS stones & sewer_1054s
5. FAR MS Stairs begin_1303s
5 FAR-MerasiSchool 2 Stall & Fixture_1050s
00b.JSM Golden Stone_0127sm
6b. FAR-MerasiSchool Clean-Up_1497
6c. FAR-MS Clean-Up Irphan_2287s
9.FAR-MerasiSchool-Two Tanks_3280
6. Clean-Up SK_1494sm
7 FAR-MerasiSchool satar helps_0267
8 FAR-MerasiSchool Colors kl, nawab,irphan_3027
14. FAR SK cuts Ribbon cut_2646s
11b. FAR-MS Boy WC red_3269s
11. FAR-MerasiSchool WC golden grout_1691
1a. MS Entrance Volunteers jules marina_0156sm
18. FAR A Merasi Thank You _2639s
00c.JSM Fort View Golden City_5196sm
17. FAR Merasi FAN fare wSeju_2623s
15.Ribbon cut up the stairs_2658sm
13-WBO-Can you guess_3148sm
16. Ribbon cut new class room_2664s
00g.MS Proud slate_0324sm
00f.Peer Teacher Saina Little Class_0317sm
00e.Peer Teacher Seema explains_0634sm
00a.MS OneHand pen OneHand drum_9536sm
00d.Camels at water hole_5175sm
15. FAR Irphan Cuts Ribbon_2651s

 The Need for Toilets and The Merasi School Background

The Merasi of northwestern India carry a powerful musical legacy, ancient yet intact. They also carry the burden of the still enduring caste system. To reclaim their identity as storytellers, the Merasi of Jaisalmer have shed the derogatory name Manganiyar, meaning beggars. Identifying as Merasi meaning musicians, is a poignant assertion of self-determination.


The Merasi School was opened in 2007 and is the only learning space where Merasi children are welcomed and treated with respect. It functioned for ten years with a funky single toilet. When a sink was installed in 2010, coordinating with the Merasi Health initiative, suddenly our students were washing up like small surgeons. Prior to that, buckets were the go to for handwashing.  Clay water pots were used for drinking until WaterBridge Outreach supplied the Merasi School with a sizeable water storage tank along with a purification machine in 2015 to supply filtered water.


Now thanks once again to a wonderful alliance with WaterBridge Outreach, we have built two gender-specific stone-tiled toilets. They are made of the Thar Desert sandstone that along with the dunes earned Jaisalmer the name “The Golden City”. The days of the funky toilet at Merasi School are no more and the ribbon cutting ceremony was quite a celebration. Building in stone can be daunting at times. Irphan was a student who jumped in to help every single day and was handed scissors to do the ribbon honors along with LKSS Director Dr. Sarwar Khan.  This spring our toilets stand as physical symbols of progress.

 Two NGOs Collaborate Across Seas


New York-based Folk Arts Rajasthan (FAR) and India-based Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS), meaning local folk arts society, are nonprofit NGOs bound together by a shared vision.


This collaboration is preserving an intangible cultural heritage once on the brink of extinction and is striving to achieve social justice by supporting educational programming perpetuating the Merasi cultural legacy, while balancing the challenges of modernization in the face of obstinate hierarchical norms.

Learn more about WaterBridge Outreach's other books + water projects at Merasi School:

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