Villages and their rural communities need to be made self-sufficient so that they are not dependent on outside or urban sources for development and employment.
The Barefoot College creates livelihoods directly as well as indirectly, through its programmes such as Solar, Water, Education, Health Care, Craft, People’s Action, and Communication. Since all programmes and its initiatives are planned, managed and implemented by members of the rural community, each one acts as a source of employment to some degree.
People’s Action and Communication initiatives, indirectly create employment within rural communities to reduce migration. They encourage and motivate poor and unemployed rural youth, as well as middle-aged men and women, to seek jobs that help to develop rural communities and improve the quality of life.
The Barefoot College is one such source of livelihood, through which any (adult) member from the rural community, irrespective of gender, caste, ethnicity, age and schooling, can work for the development of rural communities, as well as provide basic services and sustainable solutions through a combination of demystified technologies and traditional knowledge and skills.
Within the programmes, Solar, Water, Education, Health Care, Crafts, People’s Action, and Communication, more than 37,000 men and women have trained and worked as Barefoot teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, solar engineers, solar cooker engineers, water drillers and engineers, hand pump mechanics, architects, artisans, designers, masons, communicators, water chemists, phone operators, blacksmiths, wasteland developers, carpenters, computer instructors, accountants and kabaad-se-jugaad (recycling) professionals.
Details of training and livelihoods created in each programme have been briefly described below:
260 Barefoot doctors have been trained to treat patients with common ailments. They can administer allopathic, homeopathic and bio-chemic medicines. Barefoot doctors care for patients from rural communities, and for children studying in Barefoot night/ day schools and rural crèches. These doctors are semi-literate with little education and no medical degrees.Read more
Since 1975, more than 1,850 rural women have trained and worked as Barefoot artisans and weavers. They have made a living by producing rural handicrafts items. All payments are done through cheques so that they are encouraged to read and write, as well as learn to handle banks accounts.Read more
Between 2008-2009, 11 rural people including 7 women, run programmes on the Community Radio Station at Barefoot College new campus, in Tilonia. 6 rural women, including 5 physical challenged, have also been trained to assemble FM transistor radios.Read more