Jaisalmer’s Rajkumari Ratnavati School: The Architectural Marvel To Help Reduce Girls’ Illiteracy

Jaisalmer’s Rajkumari Ratnavati School: The Architectural Marvel To Help Reduce Girls’ Illiteracy
Diana Kellogg Architects

There are many ways to tackle the issues that prevail in our society. We can bring it to the fore by spreading awareness, express support or criticism towards it through art, take it up with those in-charge or even attempt to execute on-ground solutions.

Rajasthan reportedly accounts for some of the country’s worst female literacy rates at 53 per cent. What’s worse is that it is even lower in its rural population at 32 per cent. Given that 80 per cent of the state’s population is rural, the number of girls that go uneducated is alarmingly high.

Jaisalmer’s Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, an initiative by CITTA Organisation, had begun as a vision to tackle the issue of lack of girls’ education in the area owing to child marriage and stereotypical gender roles assigned to girl-children. It is now slated to provide education to girls under the poverty line in the nearing districts. The school, designed by architect Diana Kellogg, apart from being an important initiative and the need of the hour, is a marvel to look at.

The building, at a glance, comes across as a modern blend between minimalism and sleek design, unlike the typical girls’ school image that comes to mind. It has been constructed with locally cut sandstone. According to the Diana Kellogg Architects team, “the oval forms were employed to reflect the curvilinear shapes of the local forts and also universal symbols of female strength.” The uniforms for the girls have been designed by celebrity designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee using the traditional Ajrakh print.

The school will double as a women’s cooperative where older women will receive training in various traditional arts and techniques to produce items that can be sold to attain economic dependence.

The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is an example of blending a social cause with creativity and innovation. Hopefully, it will stand as an inspiration to set up more of such educational institutes that give inventiveness and growth it deserves.

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