Read this inspiring & innovative article on the CNN website a few days ago. Who would have thought that illiterate women can actually become solar engineers!? Sanjit Roy did!
BTW, I checked out and Barefoot College website. It is astounding. Please take a few minutes to check it out: Barefoot College Website
I highly recommend checking out this video:
Part of the article has been posted here, the entire article can be found at the link given below.
Turning grandmothers into solar engineers is one of Sanjit “Bunker” Roy’s favorite jobs.
Roy is the social entrepreneur and founder of the Barefoot College and has been championing a bottom-up approach to education and empowering rural poor since 1972.
It is now a global enterprise with roots in India. Roy recruits women from around the world to install and maintain solar lighting and power in their home villages.
“If you ask any solar engineer in the world, ‘Can anyone make this in a village?’ they say it’s technically impossible. And if I say a grandmother is making it who is illiterate, he can’t believe it, it’s beyond his comprehension,” says Roy.
The United Nations estimates that around 1.5 billion people still live without electricity, and often the best and most immediate way to bring non-polluting electricity to remote regions is with solar energy.
Roy certainly believes so.
“The way to go about this is not a centralized grid system, which brings in power from hundreds of miles away,” he says.
“It is to bring in basic light right down to the level of basic household wherein they take ownership and control over that technology.”
Women are the focus for the solar power projects that the Barefoot College runs because men “were very untrainable,” says Roy.
“(Men) were restless, compulsively mobile, and they all want a certificate and the moment you give them a certificate they leave the village and go to the cities looking for jobs.
“So why not invest in women, older women, mature women, gutsy women who have roots in the village and train them.”
….the entire article can be read here: CNN – Barefoot Grandmothers