Thousands of people receive training to become Barefoot professionals in a variety of careers that help sustain the local economy and community. By valuing every profession from traditional midwifery to solar engineering on the same level, we help villages become sustainably self reliant.
We are committed to equipping villages with health facilities and medical technologies. Our health team has educated rural communities on issues such as hygiene, food and nutrition, family planning and reproductive health, immunizations, midwifery and HIV prevention. We train doctors and dentists, who combine traditional healing practices with modern science and technology to improve the health of their communities.
More than 250 Barefoot medical professionals have treated patients with common ailments on campus and in their own communities. Barefoot healthcare programmes have generated employment, reduced migration and strengthened local economies.
Barefoot provides materials for and trains rural artisans to produce clothing, accessories, furniture, textiles, educational toys, leather goods, metalwork and handmade paper. We also assist in marketing support and credit accessibility, so crafts can be sold at retail shops and exhibitions in India, Europe and North America. This provides an opportunity for rural craftspeople to earn an income while sharing their cultural treasures in the global marketplace.
The College began promoting rural craft to address problems of under-employment. Today, we are working with Friends of Tilonia to bolster US sales and marketing through an online store: www.tilonia.com.
The Barefoot Communication programme started in 1981 with a team of traditional musicians, puppeteers and storytellers. Ever since, we have used the ancient Rajasthani art of puppet making to stage entertaining, educational skits that teach villagers about their rights. These skits open the door for discussions about socioeconomic issues such as caste, gender, labor, and women's and children's rights, and also address community issues like water, sanitation, waste and environmental sustainability.
In 2008, we helped Tilonia villagers launch Community Radio 90.4, and our communications efforts now include audio visual media, screen printing, photography and graphics.
Our Enriche programme gives illiterate and semi-literate women the knowledge and tools to outfit their villages with solar infrastructure. In addition to solar engineering, the holistic curriculum includes lessons in technology, finance, legal and civic rights, micro-enterprise skills, reproductive health, self awareness and environmental stewardship. Partnerships with alumni, local NGOs and social enterprises allow us to customize Enriche to suit the needs of each region. The programme uses technology as an effective tool for lifelong learning. Every woman trained becomes a trainer, empowered to spread her knowledge throughout her community.
Barefoot doctors trained
Craft professionals employed
Dentists, artisans, architects and radio hosts: Barefoot professionals are making themselves heard through our community radio programme.