Since 1999, Nirvanavan Foundation has supported community-based education projects in communities that are marginalized due to class and caste discrimination. Among our core programs is setting up educational programs in Nat and Kanjer communities in the Alwar district of Rajasthan–some of whom are engaged in prostitution as a tradition over generations, and face discrimination and stigma from the larger society. The girls in these communities have extremely low levels of literacy due to lack of support from government schools and the discrimination prevalent against them. In 2003, the Foundation conducted an extensive survey and identified 10 high-risk villages, where there was an absence of primary schools for children from these communities.
Today, we run 10 schools and 9 of these are in Nat and Kanjer villages, where children have a safe space to access basic education. Our goal is to bring these stigmatized communities into the mainstream so that they can live with honour and dignity without caste and class prejudice.
Art Mela for World Peace
Art Mela is an 8 – day event specially designed for the children of the ‘Nat and Kanjer’ communities to draw and paint with the children of the mainstream communities in an atmosphere of joy and fun. The event is guided by eminent artists from India and abroad. Each day a school is invited to come and work with the artists. Each day has a different theme. There is a day for women from the community. There is a day for pass-out children as well. The last day is the day for a grand exhibition and cultural program. About 1000 childrenparticipate in the event. Dignitaries are invited on the final day to give away certificates and prizes. 100 best paintings from the art mela are also exhibited in the city on Christmas day. The Art Mela for World Peace – 2019 from 1 st – 8th December is the 12th Art Mela. The idea is to include all the Nat and Kanjer community schools and children living in Government Homes along with Government and public schools. The children from the Nat and Kanjer Community schools and Government Homes will get an opportunity to work with the children from the mainstream schools. The children will also get an opportunity to work with international artists. The grand exhibition on concluding day will be presented by a cultural program and a prize distribution ceremony.