This Magnificent Building Is A School In The Middle Of The Thar Desert

Imagine going to school in the middle of the desert, with harsh winds blowing and temperatures soaring upto 50 degree celsius. Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?

This is part of the reason why girls in Rajasthan miss out on education. Access to education – especially for girls in rural India – is very limited. 

Which is why Michael Daube, founder of CITTA, a non-profit that supports development of marginalised communities around the world, conceptualised the project almost a decade ago.

The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School has now been completed and will serve 400 girls from kindergarten to class X from neighbouring areas. The school is part of the GYAAN Center – an initiative to empower local women with education and skills.

The building has been designed by New York-based architect Diana Kellogg. The oval shape is a universal symbol of female strength.

The structure is made entirely out of yellow sandstone, hand-carved by the craftsmen of Jaisalmer, as it was important for Kellogg to include the community in a building made for the community.

The building has been oriented in a way to filter out sunlight and maximize air flow. It is equipped with a solar canopy that powers the school, and the courtyard has been designed to harvest almost 3.5 lac litres of rainwater.

The uniforms have been designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee, using Ajrak – a form of block printing which is native to the region.

Images courtesy: Vinay Panjwani and Bharath Ram