A place of education and community

A school education for the children of the Indian Thar Desert

In the Thar Desert around Jaisalmer in the north-west of India, the Bhil tribe lives in impoverished conditions. The majority of children have no access to education. The French Association Malenbaï, which was founded in 2007, wants to make education available with its work and improve the medical care.

In 2006 the Frenchwoman Capucine Larmand made the acquaintance in Darbari of a man named Pabu from the Bhil tribe, who is committed to supporting the rights of the untouchables, the lowest caste in India. Together they founded the Association Malenbaï in 2007, which deals with improving the nutritional situation of the people and would like to provide medical care and educational opportunities. Since 2013 the project has also been supported by Jaques Monteaux, a former teacher of Capucine Larmand. Since September 2014 Capucine Larmand has been teaching the pupils in the village of Darbari every day.

The village of Darbari is located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Here the Association Malenbaï is building a Waldorf school for the children of the village. In the presence of pupils from the Waldorf School in Sorgues near Avignon, the foundation stone was laid on 1 January 2015. Owing to its good access to the main road of the village, the school should soon also be attracting children from the nearby city of Jaisalmer. In this way, children from different castes can learn together.

The donation from the MAHLE FOUNDATION benefited the entire school project. Completion of the school building is planned for the summer of 2015. It is then planned not only to offer the daily lessons for pupils, but also courses and evening events for women. Furthermore, an Indian teacher is to be recruited who can be trained by Jaques Monteaux as a Waldorf teacher. A well is also to be built in the future on the school grounds. This means that the ground can be irrigated and a vegetable garden created to feed the children.