Monday, January 10, 2011

Jagriti Yatra Diary - Barefoot College, making doctors and engineers out of illiterate women

Jan 8 - We crossed over into Rajasthan, some goof up by the railways caused us to overshoot our scheduled stop at Tilonia and land at Kishangarh instead. After a short wait a few people from the Barefoot college came over and made a presentation through some form of Rajasthani puppetry to explain us the concept before we were taken to Tilonia to have a look at things. The founder Mr.Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy had gone to meet the Dalai Lama so we couldn't meet him :(

Illiterate women from places around Tilonia, other parts of India and Africa were being educated in the fully solar powered campus of the 'Barefoot College'. We saw people being trained to be dentists, solar engineers, electronics, lab technicians, OPD doctors (Homeopathy, Allopathy and Ayurvedic) etc. We were all stunned to see people of several nationalities in a room, not knowing Hindi or English but learning and assembling several electronic good using Circuit boards etc :O

People are taught communication through puppetry, handicrafts etc The 'Barfeoot College' which was established in 1972 and has centres across the country uses puppetry to communicate with the villagers. Check www.barefootcollege.org

We were taken to Ajmer to re-board our train only to learn two of our coaches including mine had failed the mandatory Brake Power Check (happens every 4 days I guess) and had to be replaced. At short notice we had to pack our bags and shift while the rest of yatris waited on the platform. The train with two new coaches chugged off to our last destination in Gujarat sometime about midnight...

PS: I'll update the blog with some pictures later
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