Tag Archives: solar/photovoltaic

interview with Vasu, facilitator at Barefoot College

Barefoot College has changed a lot compared to 36 years ago when we started. What is applicable in Tilonia – its overall vision – can be replicated anywhere else. In this country and abroad, but it needs a change of mindsets.
We are organized in a disorganized way. We have small committees for different topics. We have the housing committee, the water committee, the salary committee. Salaries can go up and down, depending on your performance. You have also the possibility to evaluate yourself. Poverty, teamwork, gender are all issues coming into play for evaluation. Points are added up, but nobody can get more than 100 U$.
The options are open. The organization is set up as a community so obviously there will always be somebody to run it. Continue reading

Sita Bai :: Solar Cooker Engineer.

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Sita Bai :: Solar Cooker Engineer
streaming video — 03:40

In the villages there still is a lot of discrimination. On the level of castes, on the level of male dominance.
There are many clashes with the vllagers. As I’m from a lower cast, they don’t allow me to eat with them. They even don’t let me sit next to them. Or come close to dried cow dung.
Than they say that I spoil their fuel.
The villagers are also jealous. They see that I educated myself and that I became an independent lady.
I wonder where all this fuzz about high and low castes comes from. After all we are all the same human beings.
Continue reading

Leela Devi :: Solar Lighting Engineer.

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Leela Devi :: Solar Lighting Engineer.
streaming video — 01:40

I am a teacher and a student and a student and a teacher.
My husband used to work at the College. I came along with him.
Our parents arranged our marriage long before my husband started his further studies. At that time there was no item of getting a more educated wife. His family liked me and my family liked him for me. The education-level difference between us was no point, as the arrangement was not based on education. Now I can discuss problems with my husband. He’s very supportive. If I don’t understand something he explains me.
I started to work in the handicraft section before I asked myself to be transferred to the solar department. I wanted to learn something new, completely different from what I used to do. Stitching every woman can do. But solar was completely new when I came here. In the beginning I never thought I would never be able to understand it, but now I feel very comfortable and I like doing it. Continue reading


Four dark-skinned women in multi-hued saris hunch over a solar power-generating circuit at the National Institute for Rural Development (NIRD) in Hyderabad, fleshing out details about solar lamps and panels for Indian villages. Chennamma, Yelamma, Kalavati and Zayda, all illiterate women in their 30s who previously worked as stone crushers in South India’s quarries, have left the furnace-like heat of their previous jobs to use the sun Continue reading