In the heart of the Thar desert, Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School is not just an architectural marvel, but also a place where young girls can bring their dreams to life. In a state like Rajasthan, where the literacy rate is only 32 per cent, this school in Kanoi village is aiming to provide a better future to young girls as well as their mothers, all while promoting the cause of sustainability.
Designed by New York-based architect Diana Kellogg, the school was built in 2019 by non-profit organisation CITTA to educate and empower women of the state. It took a decade for Michael Daube, director, CITTA, to conceptualise the building.
Located in Jaisalmer, the school is made of sandstone, which can keep the building cool and comfortable from within, even when outside temperatures soar to 50 degrees Celsius. There’s plenty of air and light circulation in the classrooms, and the canopy of solar panels on the building provides electricity while keeping the structure under shade.
Besides the school, the building also houses a textile museum, a performance/exhibition hall, and an area to train women in traditional arts like weaving.
At present, there are 400 girls studying in this institution from pre-school to class 12.