We followed the boy to a model private school established here by a native son who was from the “untouchable caste.” He was the headmaster. When we arrived the students had already come and gathered on a narrow roof of the school building, waiting for us as they had been told about our visit. They sat in five rows and as the headmaster supervised, they sang “patriotic songs,” led by four older students who were seated in front facing them.

Photo essay: Folklore in India’s villages