Via Madanganj, District Ajmer,
305816 Tilonia, Rajasthan
Contact person: Ellen Fish, Bunker Roy
- Educational policy/project
- Women's policy
- Commune, community project
- Volunteers are welcome.
Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. The College follows the life and work style of Gandhi.
These ´Barefoot solutions´ can be broadly categorised into:
• Solar energy: The Barefoot College has been pioneering solar electrification in rural, remote, non-electrified villages. The College has demystified solar technology and is decentralizing its application by making it available to poor and neglected communities.
• Water: Preservation and accessibility of water in poor rural communities, has been of primary concern to the Barefoot College.
• Education: Barefoot College education programme is geared for overall development of rural children, and literacy is only a part of it. It is viewed as a radical departure from the traditional concept of a ´college´ because it encourages hands-on or learning-by-doing process of gaining knowledge and skills, rather than imparting it through formal classroom teachings. Lessons are focused on arousing awareness about the environment and the social-economic and political forces that dominate development. Achievement skills that guarantee a sustainable development in rural communities as well as literacy are considered important for an individual’s development.
• Health care: Through a network of the Barefoot health team, Barefoot communicators and teachers, the Barefoot College has created health awareness among rural men, women and children on issues such as hygiene, food and nutrition, mother and child care, immunization, oral health, family planning, HIV/ AIDS, midwifery, common ailments etc.
• Rural handicrafts: Assistance in improving designs and techniques, creation of marketing outlets, and access to credit have helped to restore and create new income opportunities for craftsmen and women. Training and materials provided by the College also enabled women to work from home, helping them to generate income from craft. Friends of Tilonia, a US-based, non-profit organization, is working with the College to develop direct sales and marketing channels for these crafts in the U.S. To support this effort, FOT has developed the online craftstore, www.tilonia.com, and is initiating sales promotion and direct marketing to wholesalers and distributors, and participating on behalf of the Barefoot College at selected US trade shows.
• People´s action: Barefoot College let the organisation grow as a process where human beings and their development, their confidence and personal growth meant more and mattered more. The investment was more in people than in projects.
• Communication: Barefoot communicators performed and initiated discussions on socio-economic messages and powerful themes such as drinking water, environment, transparency, minimum wages, employment, dalit violence, untouchability, casteism, money lending, death feast, communal harmony, atrocities towards women, women empowerment and child rights.
• Livelihood: The Barefoot College creates livelihoods directly as well as indirectly, through its programmes.
Bunker Roy is the Founder and Director of the Barefoot College and Ellen Fish is the Executive Director of Friends of Tilonia, Inc.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.