Barefoot College

Barefoot College
City Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
Established 1972

Barefoot College was established in the year 1972,

Admission Notices

    Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorised into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.Rural men and women irrespective of age, who are barely literate or not at all, and have no hope of getting even the lowest government job, are being trained to work as day and night school teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, balsevikas, solar engineers, solar cooker engineers, water drillers, hand pump mechanics, architects, artisans, designers, masons, communicators, water testers, phone operators, blacksmiths, carpenters, computer instructors, accountants and kabaad-se-jugaad professionals. With little guidance, encouragement and space to grow and exhibit their talent and abilities, people who have been considered ‘very ordinary’ and written off by society, are doing extraordinary things that defy description. The Barefoot College is a place of learning and unlearning.It's a place where the teacher is the learner and the learner is the teacher.It's a place where NO degrees and certificates are given because in development there are no experts-only resource persons.It's a place where people are encouraged to make mistakes so that they can learn humility, curiosity,the courage to take risks,to innovate,to improvise and to constantly experiment.It's a place where all are treated as equals and there is no hierarchy. So long as the process leads to the good and welfare of all; so long as problems of discrimination,injustice,exploitation and inequalities are addresssed directly or indirectly; so long as the poor,the deprived and the dispossessed feel its a place they can talk, be heard with dignity and respect,be trained and be given the tools and the skills to improve their own lives the immediate relevance of the Barefoot College to the global poor will always be there. The story of the Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC), now known as the Barefoot College, started in 1972 in Tilonia, a quiet village in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. Tilonia, at that time, was a typical Indian village, steeped in seemingly insurmountable problems, the worst of which were probably apathy and a belief in the helpless, unchanging nature of life. In just two decades, the attitudes have changed and the people have come to rely more upon themselves. Tilonia is no longer just a village. It is a living example of local people using their own skills to meet their own needs and manage their own resources. The College has worked to address basic needs: water, health, education, and employment while enrolling individuals in the processes that govern their lives. It now provides basic services to 100 villages and more than 100,000 people spread over 500 square miles. The organisation began its work in Tilonia because a rural development agency could and should work from a village. Rural development required living among those people who would affect and be effected by that development process. SWRC programmes were initially started with urban expertise from outside the area. Today, all these programmes are run by people who have no formal educational or professional degree. An individual's will to learn and aptitude for learning is more important than any formal degree or paper qualification. This concept of learning is the foundation for the Barefoot College. It is applied in every field at the Centre. For example, the new campus at Tilonia was designed and built by one of the villagers, who can barely sign his own name. The campus itself reflects the adaption of both traditional, as well as new methods and technologies. Old, traditional methods have been used to keep the buildings cool while solar energy is used to provide electrical power the campus. People with minimum paper qualifications, trained at the Barefoot College, work in every field - as night school teachers, health workers, computer operators, solar engineers, or hand pump mechanics. At Tilonia, all of the activities are related and workers are encouraged to move from one field section to another. Basic literacy, health and first aid skills are also taught. In this way, each individual learns about the entire organisation, its mission and its functioning. From the beginning, SWRC has practiced the idea of sustainable development through self-sufficiency. Unlike many government-sponsored projects, the College does not provide free services. A nominal fee is charged for all services, including health services, training, installation of hand pumps or solar electrification for lighting. A sense of ownership is very important for the success of any project and comes only when services are paid for by the individuals themselves. The Barefoot College trains and employs unemployed people from the villages to help them become a productive part of the Centre. Almost 98 percent of the workers at SWRC, Tilonia are from the neighboring rural area. New trends in technology and high-tech machines are not always synonymous with development. SWRC does not believe in imposing technology on people in rural villages, nor using technology which deprives people of employment. Any new technology has to be thoroughly tested, appropriated and modified before it can be effective. Adapting and improving on pre-existing, traditional ways is often more effective than using newer technologies. Sense of Community
    What makes Tilonia a wonderful place is that there is no managerial hierarchy and this egalitarian nature of the Centre is reflected in all aspects of the organisation from salary structure to the community dining hall. The difference between the lowest paid and the highest paid staff is not more than 1:3. Performance evaluations are done by the staff themselves for each other. In the community dining hall, there is no distinction by way of caste, religion, or position. Food is simple and everyone serves himself or herself. and washes his or her own dishes. Initially, getting so-called "higher caste" and "lower caste" individuals to eat or sit together was one of the most difficult tasks. However, now they proudly boast of actually having "unity in diversity." To reinforce the sense of community, an hour every morning and evening is reserved for voluntary participation in community work like keeping the campus clean or watering the plants. The Barefoot College concept is percolated to the communities in the 110 villages of the Silora Block through the 12 SWRC field centres. The field centres have the freedom to decide their own course of action. Each serves between 9 and 35 villages. The field centres are dependent on the main centre only for administrative purposes and for certain policies and issues. All heads for the field centres meet once a month at one of the centres to evaluate the month's work and decide activities for the coming month.

    Barefoot College ,Tilonia
    305 816
    Phone No :-01463-42016, 01463-88203, 01463-88204

    Fax No :-01463-88206

    [email protected]


    Barefoot College offers various graduate courses as well as Post Graduate courses.


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    List of facilities available at Barefoot College for students.

    • wifi
    • Library
    • Sports
    • Transportation
    • Hostels
    • Healthcare
    • Internet
    • Cafeteria
    • Computer Labs

        Barefoot College

        Generations of past students, both male and female, are proud to be known and enjoy maintaining their connection with the college and each other. Please write to [email protected] with link of existing almuni group, or request for creation of group.