It takes a woman.....
February 7, 2008 9:54 AM   Subscribe

The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers Of The World ( youtube ) trained at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan. Using traditional puppetry as an educational medium, Sanjit Bunker Roy's school has been causing a quiet but sure revolution in sustainable development for over 30 years. ( previously )
posted by adamvasco (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers Of The World

There's no part of that sentence I don't like. Also, I love her tone: "Theory can take a flying leap--we are getting results."

I don't get why they have to travel to India to attend the Barefoot College, though. Why can't the instructors travel to Bolivia or wherever? I guess there's only one person from every area, so this concentrates them.
posted by DU at 10:11 AM on February 7, 2008

Also: "Another goal of Roy’s is to promote universal primary education in rural areas without relying on the formal system alone: “It destroys initiative and creativity… Encourage private initiative without commercializing education. Give private initiative more responsibility, more space, more freedom.” To this end, Tilonia has set up a children’s parliament where an elected body of girls and boys aged between 10 to 14 years make sure that the schools are properly run – an innovative step to better child-empowerment."

I like this Roy guy. Thanks!
posted by not_on_display at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2008

No woman left behind...
posted by Wanderlust88 at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2008

No shirt, no shoes, no service.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:01 PM on February 7, 2008

There is now The Women Barefoot Solar Cooker Engineers Society which has 6 members who complete the full fabrication and production of parabolic solar cookers. ( 8sq meter parabolic can bring 20L of water to boil in an hour producing +/- 2.5kw)
I also love this : "an artist from the Barefoot College, prepares traditional Rajasthani masks for plays and puppet shows with material from recycled World Bank reports. "We keep getting these reports that no one reads, so we decided to put them to some use," founder Bunker Roy says."
posted by adamvasco at 1:14 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Very cool. Thanks for posting this.
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on February 7, 2008

adamvasco, this is one of my favorite posts *ever* on the blue, or, frankly, anywhere. What an amazing human being this Sanjit Bunker Roy is, has been, and how much I admire the superb work he is doing. I wish I had a million dollars today to offer his Barefoot College.

Thank you for a post that truly fills my heart with joy.
posted by nickyskye at 8:38 PM on February 7, 2008

Renewable energy...grassroots initiative...female empowerment...yeah, I'd say that this is one of few pieces of unadulterated good news I've read about in a while. Awesome post.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:38 PM on February 7, 2008

very correct woman, is what we should strive
posted by Sashaay at 12:57 AM on February 8, 2008

We saw a terrific documentary about Rajasthan last fall. The documentary mostly followed one girl, the president of her local 'children's congress', as she worked to get a cistern for her village... Part of it dealt with the Barefoot College - it was a really inspiring view. This post has brought it back, thanks for the terrific, terrific post. (I'm gonna go look for that documentary now...)
posted by From Bklyn at 1:36 AM on February 8, 2008

Poking around, it turns out one of the two online places they sell crafts is my local (Ottawa) coffee shop, Bridgehead. Small world.

Has anyone read Neil Gerhendfeld's book, FAB?

He mentions a similar school, Vigyan Ashram, in a drought-prone, Indian town of 10,000.

BBC NEWS | In pictures | Vigyan Ashram

It is interesting to see what they are up to.
Reports (pdfs)

blog - hearing aids, led lamps, bio gas generators, etc.

fablabinnova - Pedal Power
"This (bike generator) mechanism is a big success in a Thane school where 32 children pedal for 15 minutes a day and develop uninterrupted power for their classrooms"
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:49 AM on February 8, 2008

Very interesting. Thanks.
posted by nicolin at 4:32 AM on February 8, 2008

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