Barefoot College - History

History

Bunker Roy is the founder of what is now called Barefoot College. After conducting a survey of water supplies in 100 drought prone areas, Roy established the Social Work and Research Centre in 1972. Its mission soon changed from a focus on water and irrigation to empowerment and sustainability. The programs focused on siting water pumps near villages and training the local population to maintain them without dependence on outside mechanics, providing training as paramedics for local medical treatment, and on solar power to decrease dependence and time spent on kerosene lighting.

Night Schools were begun that allowed students who worked to support their families during the day to still receive training. The organization has utilized a system of training the trainers to bring skills training to villages.

In 1997, Kamala Devi became first female solar engineer trained by the college's programs. She continued to work with the college. In 2012, she became the head of the solar unit at Kadampura.

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