Next World TV

Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Barefoot Grandmothers Install Solar Power

Subscribe to Next World TV

Your e-mail address is kept absolutely private
We make it easy to unsubscribe at any time

Share The Knowledge - Spread The Light

Mahatma Gandhi’s central belief was that the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for development before getting skills from outside. He also believed that sophisticated technology should be used in rural India, but it should be in the hands and in control of the poor communities so that they are not dependent or exploited while maintaining or replacing this technology.

Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India has implemented this message of Gandhi’s since it's inception. The only fully solar electrified college in India started training rural people to be solar engineers in the 1990's.

They found that the best candidates were middle aged women. Reading skills are not necessary - nor is understanding any Indian language. Here they train women from other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia using color codes and sign language!

These women learn to install and maintain solar powered home lighting systems in their villages. They have electrified 350 villages in India alone.

Worldwide, they have brought solar expertise to over 750 villages -- to over 19,000 households that lacked electricity in 19 countries!

They offer a 6 month training period, and when they go home they establish workshops in their villages to install, maintain and repair the systems - and the most powerful aspect: they teach each other.

The new: "Teach a man to fish" is "Teach a barefoot Grandma to install solar power."

--Bibi Farber