The Dargah Foundation supports the social and cultural work at the dargah of the Indian mystic and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927). A dargah is a place were a sufi saint or sufi master is buried. It is a place for contemplation and meditation, but also a centre that aims at the wellbeing of its neighbourhood. The Dargah Foundation has been set up with this last aim in view.
The Dargah Foundation has been founded in 1999. But the activities for the neighbourhood started much earlier. Already in the seventies activities were initiated from the old building around the dargah. Eventually these work activitities led to the following projects:
- Many years ago an “income generating project” was started for the women in the neighbourhood. Among other things they learned how to embroider in the traditional way (zardosi, gold and silver thread work). The aim was to improve the economic and cultural position of the women. In the meantime this project has developed into a project where women do embroidery and needle work which they sell in a little shop near the dargah.
- An informal music school for children from 6 to 14 years of age. In small groups they learn to sing traditional songs that have been sung for centuries in their community.
- The Hazrat Inayat Khan Music Academy is a music school where traditional Indian song is being taught to young adults individually. The Academy also organizes workshops and concerts of Indian classical music and it contributes to concerts given during the Urs (date of death of Soefi Inayat Khan).
The foundation supports these activities financially. If necessary the Foundation contributes to the maintenance or furnishing of the buildings or pays for urgent medical assistance.
The activities of the foundation in Delhi take place in the buildings around the dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan. These buildings belong to the Hazrat Inayat Khan Memorial Trust.The activitites are being led by Dr. Farida Ali. The foundation is responsible for the financing of the projects, whereas the trust and dr. Farida Ali in particular are responsible for the organisation and execution of the activities.