[tilonia, rajasthan, india]
In 1965 a young post graduate student, SANJIT “BUNKER” ROY volunteered to spend the summer working with famine affected people in Palamu District Bihar, now Jharkhand, one of the poorest of India’s states. His urban elitist upbringing had distanced him from poverty and destitution. This experience changed him, and formed the determination to fight poverty and inequality. It became his mission. The idea of the SWRC (Social Works and Research Centre), Tilonia emerged from these concerns.
There was no fixed agenda….
The management of the SWRC, and later Barefoot College, has been participatory. We designed a participatory decision making process to implement the Barefoot College’s six non-negotiable values – 1. Austerity 2. Equality 3. Collective Decision-Making 4. Decentralization 5. Self-Evaluation 6. Transparency and Accountability.
We’re an NGO providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. – via twitter bio
The programs are influenced by the Gandhian philosophy of each village being self-reliant. The policy of the Barefoot College is to take students, primarily women from the poorest of villages and teach them skills such as installing, building and repairing solar lamps and waterpumps without requiring them to read or write. In extreme cases, there are students without verbal fluency in the languages of their teachers.
There are two campus of barefoot college in tilonia one is old campus spread in 42 acres of land and other one is new campus spread in 8 acres of land. The buildings used for the school have dirt floors and no chairs so that “poor students feel comfortable”. The campus sits on 8 acres, has rainwater harvesting design and was built by the students. A library of approx 30000 books inside the new campus.
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The Social Work and Research Centre (“SWRC”), widely known as the Barefoot College is a voluntary organization working in the fields of education, skill development, health, drinking water, women empowerment and electrification through solar power for the upliftment of rural people, which was founded by Bunker Roy in 1972. It is registered underFriends of Tilonia Inc.
The “Villagers’ Barefoot College” in the village of Tilonia gives lessons in reading, writing and accounting to adults and children especially the “drop-outs, cop-outs and wash-outs.” Girls heavily outnumber boys in the night schools. In 2008 there were approximately 3,000 children attending 150 night schools.
In the profile acknowledging Roy as one of Time 100 most influential people for his work with the Barefoot College, Greg Mortenson wrote that the grass-roots social entrepreneurship has trained more than 3 million people for jobs in the modern world, “in buildings so rudimentary they have dirt floors and no chairs” so that poor students feel comfortable.
Barefoot College (@BarefootCollege) tweeted at 6:01 AM – 11 Jan 2018 :
https://t.co/17ud65u44U #Coffee seeks to address the needs of rural and tribal #communities for consistent yield and fair price for their produce. Learn more here: https://t.co/yHK3JChKyl
#FlipTheSwitch #environment #BarefootCollege #solarpower #renewable #inspire #empowerment (http://twitter.com/BarefootCollege/status/951438875016224768?s=17)
incredible things/inventions.. imagine the potential if we went moneyless
Barefoot College (@BarefootCollege) tweeted at 7:00 AM – 16 Aug 2019 :
On this Independence Day, Shikshaniketan educators and children raised the question ‘Do we really have freedom?’ highlighting several issues: female foeticide, child abuse, poverty and suppression of expression- all that stop us from being truly independent in today’s world. https://t.co/2a4G6hWZ0T (http://twitter.com/BarefootCollege/status/1162348288277979137?s=17)