Traveller Trail III – Rajasthan


Tilonia seems like all other villages at first but as you look around, you realise it is not. It is where the Barefoot College was conceptualised and put into practice. It was initiated in 1972 by Bunker Roy with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community.

The College tackles problems of drinking water, girl education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities. It aims to benefit the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives. So in tilonia we find women cooking food not on stoves or gases but through solar cookers made by them! Engineers from the city had been called in to teach the technique and now they pass it on within the community.The emphasis is clearly on gaining practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications.

The College serves a population of over 125,000 people both in immediate as well as distant areas.

20 Barefoot College field centres can now be found in 13 of India’s 26 states, and the expansion is set to continue.

The centre is funded by the government of Rajasthan (40 per cent), international donors (40 per cent) and its own activities (20 per cent).

Children lined up outside the school.

Children lined up outside the school.

Villagers handle the finances of the village handicraft shop by themselves.

Villagers handle the finances of the village handicraft shop by themselves.

A worker working at the loom producing cloth.

A worker working at the loom producing cloth.

A lot of stress is given to women empowerment through education and vocational skills.

A lot of stress is given to women empowerment through education and vocational skills.

– Niha Masih

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~ by Niha on October 17, 2009.

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