Barefoot College: Connecting rural communities to solar, water, and education

Building a sustainable world from the ground up. 

The Problem

Barefoot College started out as an idea. It's founder, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, wanted to come up with an alternative solution to addressing India's rampant poverty and inequality. In 1972, he set out to create Barefoot College.Higher education - especially in the areas of renewable technologies -- can act as an engine for further carbon reducing technologies. Barefoot College also places a high emphasis on educating women, and studies suggest that there is a direct correlation between educating women and family planning. But most importantly, the curriculum taught at Barefoot College focuses on preparing India's work force to find occupation in the green economy.

The Solution

Today, Barefoot college is the only college that is entirely solar powered. There are 14,000 kilowatts of solar panels on the roof. Barefoot College teaches a number of trades and crafts all of which focus on creating a more sustainable and green India. Barefoot College puts women first, they use sophisticated technologies, and they consult the villages in all the major economic developments that they undertake. Today, Barefoot College is expanding. The institution operates in 1,300 villages and 80 countries worldwide. The impact of Barefoot's training has, by their measures, impacted at least 2 million people.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Barefoot College, nonprofit.

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