Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

RISD/DESINE LAB & Brown Engineering Presents: Solar Engineers of Barefoot College

Monday, April 20, 2015

6:30pm – 8:30pm

RISD Bayard Ewing Building (BEB)
231 South Main Street

Free admission

Monday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Bunker Roy, Founder of Barefoot College, & Maegan Fallone
Solar Engineers of Barefoot College

Sanjit “Bunker” Roy is the founder of Barefoot College, which helps rural communities becomes self-sufficient.Development projects the world over run into one crucial point: For a project to live on, it needs to be organic, owned and sustained by those it serves. In 1972, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy founded the Barefoot College, in the village of Tilonia in Rajasthan, India, with just this mission: to provide basic services and solutions in rural communities with the objective of making them self-sufficient. These “barefoot solutions” can be broadly categorized into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. Bunker’s organization has also successfully trained grandmothers from Africa and the Himalayan region to be solar engineers so they can bring electricity to their remote villages.

A central belief was that the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for its development before getting skills from outside. A belief that sophisticated technology should be used in rural India, but it should be in the hands and in control of the poor communities so that they are not dependent or exploited.

As he says, Barefoot College is "a place of learning and unlearning: where the teacher is the learner and the learner is the teacher."

More Information

Contact: indiainitiative@brown.edu