Educational trip to Barefoot College, Tilonia

Start Date: 
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Start Time: 
09:00 am

On 15th March 2017, the students of Economics department went to The Barefoot College, Tilonia, Ajmer. A group of 28 students of BA(hons) sem VI and sem II and MA were accompanied by Vaishali Gupta ma’am and Yashasvi ma’am.  We started our journey at around 8:20 in the morning and reached our destination at around 10 am. We first met the main coordinator of the college who himself was uneducated. He told us about Sanjit Bunker Roy and about his journey which led to the foundation of this college. He told us about the building designer who was not any iitian or famous architect but was an illiterate man who designed a building, which was awarded as one of the best buildings of our country. He answered our small queries and after meeting him we went ahead to take small rest and had our tea. Then we first started our main trip with New Campus of the college. First we entered into a room where women were manufacturing sanitary pads and they were very cheap as compared to what we purchase. It costed Rs.15 for 6 pads. They told us that these are basically for women who are poor and cannot afford sanitary pads and maintain hygiene. There sanitary pads packet comes under name “Sathan”.

Then we moved to another block where we saw the college clinic, laboratory, OPD which provide cheap facilities and gives very cheap medication services. A very interesting thing was we met Kesar Devi who was illiterate but was dentist. She was expert in doing dental services like cleaning teeth, plucking out the broken teeth etc. just at the cost of rupees 200 in starting  and person with same amount can use it for check up three times and this service is free for students who study in the college night school.

Then we visited a centre for curing malnutrition among children, for taking care of children of women who work. The Barefoot College and government provide the salary of all these members.

The Barefoot College is in 6 more countries other than India.

Then we visited their plant nursery where they had palnted 80 different types of plant species and also saw bee farming where they produce their own honey approximately about 10 kilos in 3 months. They prepare their own organic manure for maintaining plants.

Then we visited for watching the water-purifying department where we learned that they test water of around 200 villages every year 3 times. They do all test like floride, lead test etc. The department is connected with Rajasthan water department.

Then we went to communication centre of the college where we saw lot of puppets of different sizes. Big, small all size puppets. People working there told us that they use it for spreading awareness among villagers about several government policies and for informing and giving knowledge to night school students. They also do shows but first the permission has to be taken from main office. They showed us their show and we met chacha. He gave us a warm welcome and then the artists sang a folk for us.

The building had very small pillars and everywhere it was so cool environment.

Then we went to see the night school where children who work in day for earning to sustain living learn and studies at night school.

Then we went to commercial and community radio centre. The radio centre had range of 15kms and the channel for the radio station is 90.4. They discuss current government policies and play folk songs to promote our culture.

They used the very basic and very cheap technique for soundproofing and these were paper made containers, which are used for carrying eggs.

We visited the library of the college also where we saw that  most of the books were donated for night school students and for other people of the college.

After visiting the new campus we went to see the college presentation . Then we went for having our meals where we ate solar energy used cooked food and it was very delicious. 

Then we went to craft and handicraft shop situated in the college itself.

After that we posed for some photographs, selfies and also we saw lot of foreigner and even Indians from different states who also came to visit the college like us.

We got free from new campus at about 2:30 pm. After making visit to new campus we went to old campus.

In the old campus we got to know about the solar lamps made by the barefoot engineers. A special thing about this place is that people learn from their seniors. There were two groups of the solar engineers, National group and International group. The national group consisted of 15 female engineers from Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Assam and other states of India while the international group had learners from other countries. The trainees here are selected by the  government respectively and also take care of their expenses for food, shelter, travel  and other basic requirements.

“Nothing is waste for the people of barefoot college”, says the trainees of second section of the college – Kabaad se Jugaad. The three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle can be best defined by them. They creatively use newspapers and other materials for teaching-learning process and also use these resources for creating substance of utility.

The next section introduced was the weaving section. Cloths here are hand woven with the help of charkhas and other equipments. This is an only men’s section. Here everything i.e. from collection of raw material to making of finished product is done by the trainees themselves.

The toys section of the collage interested the students most. A lot of interesting objects of wood was seen. All the objects were purely wood. The toys made were not only for recreation purpose but also for playful learning. Alphabets, numbers and symbols were neatly carved out of wood providing the toddlers to learn in an interesting way. These toddlers also helped in making of the toys.

As said this place is eco friendly therefore use of solar cookers was done for cooking which were made by the people of barefoot. Efforts of both male and female were put in making of the product promoting both men and women are equal even cutting of metal was done by both.

The barefoot college not only gives one the insights on creation but also provides a platform of equality, teamwork, life skills and continuous learning.