The Barefoot College believes that every poor rural person, regardless of gender, age, literacy and mental/physical ability, has the right to earn a living with dignity.
The physically challenged and lower caste groups face many difficulties in rural communities. They live a life of dependency on family members, their prospects in marriage and employment are slim, they are deprived of education, knowledge and awareness, most do not qualify for even the lowest government jobs, some are socially ridiculed and for some traveling is extremely difficult.
The physically challenged and lower caste groups are willing to receive hands on training in skills and to be an integral part of the Barefoot College community. Since its inception, the College has encouraged and trained, more than 450 such physically challenged men and women, to be independent rural entrepreneurs and full/part-time workers as Barefoot teachers, pathologists, computer instructors, accountants, transistor FM radio assemblers, screen printers, toy makers, kabaad se jugaad (recycling) professionals, and phone booth/Photostat/milk booth operators. Most of them have received training in more than one activity.
The College gives these underprivileged, neglected and vulnerable people the space to be creative, provides them access to education and vocational training, as well as encourages them to be productive members of society, and by doing so it slowly and patiently develops their self-confidence, competence as well as independence.