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India - 2014 

Rajasthani boy whose name means "Ray of Light "

The Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan ("the land of kings"). The origin of Rajasthanis has largely fallen into oblivion for there are no surviving written records from ancient times. Rajasthani society is a blend of predominantly Hindus with sizable minorities of Muslims and Jains, traditionally known as Jain Dharma. Jain Dharma is an ancient Indian religion, the central tenet being non-violence and love towards all living beings. Rajasthanis form an ethno-linguistic group that is distinct in its language, history, cultural and religious practices, social structure, literature, and art. However, there are many different castes and communities, with diversified traditions of their own.

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The origin of the Rajasthanis has largely fallen into oblivion for there are no surviving written records from ancient times Nonetheless, Rajasthnis are living in Rajasthan since time immemorial. The erstwhile state of Alwar, in north-eastern Rajasthan, is possibly the oldest kingdom in Rajasthan. Around 1500 BC, it formed a part of the Matsya territories of Viratnagar (present-day Bairat) encompassing Bharatpur, Dholpur, and Karauli.

I had the opportunity to visit rural Rajasthan while documenting the rural solar electrification project developed and implemented by Barefoot College, an international NGO whose mission it is to train women to become solar engineers and teach them how to electrify their remote villages in some of the most under-developed areas of the world. I couldn't resist taking these photos of their everyday life.

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