Country of Operation
- Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC)Not-for-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryEstablished 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.
Since its inception, the long term objective of the Barefoot College has been to work with marginalized, exploited and impoverished rural poor, living on less than $1 a day, and lift them over the poverty line with dignity and self respect. The dream was to establish a rural college in India that was built by and exclusively for the poor. 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.
Key program components
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 Barefoot College health care section aims to provide basic health services to more than 150 villages in five development blocks of Rajasthan through a team of Barefoot doctors, health workers, midwives, pathologists and dentists - all with little or no educational background. The College has been training men and women from the villages so that rural communities are less dependent on external aid.
Their involvement in the planning, implementation and supervision of all programmes have not only generated employment within rural communities, but also reduced migration. Through a network of the Barefoot health team and Barefoot communicators and teachers, the Barefoot College has created health awareness among rural men, women and children on issues such as hygiene, food and nutrition, maternal and child care, immunization, oral health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, midwifery, common ailments, etc.
Specific services offered by health workers within the Barefoot College network include:
Maternal and child care
Medical check ups for preschool and night school children
Training and health education for rural midwives and health workers
Use of homeopathy bio-chemic health care