Cornell University

South Asia Development Forum, Spring 2016: "India's Barefoot College: Women and Community Solar Energy Development"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Biotechnology Building, G-10
Central Campus

This South Asia Program (SAP) event is a public lecture by Sanjit “Bunker” Roy, Founder of internationally acclaimed Barefoot College of India and CEO of Barefoot College International, Meagan Fallone. The only college built by and for the rural poor with a focus on decentralising and demystifying technology, placing it in the hands of those most in need. Its "Barefoot Approach” to empowering communities towards self-sufficiency is grounded on the lifestyle and work style of Mahatma Gandhi.  They will speak about the “barefoot solutions” that have transformed rural people—especially women—into powerful agents of change in their communities. From solar energy, water, education, and health care to rural handicrafts, the “solutions” are unique and exemplified by the award-winning architecture of the College itself—designed and built by villagers for villagers. Barefoot College has also successfully trained grandmothers from throughout the developing world to be solar engineers so that they can bring electricity to their remote villages. The organization has created through its social justice approach, a highly innovative ecosystem where rural poor people have a voice in the design and innovation of their own technologies.

Co-Sponsored with funding from: Syracuse University South Asia Center, Atkinson Center; AWARE (Advancing Women in Agriculture through Research and Education); International Programs/CALS; South Asia Program TFI Funds; and the Tata-Cornell Initiative.

Event Type



Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, CALS Communications, South Asia Program, International Programs, Sustainability, Arts & Sciences Career Services, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

William Phelan

Contact Phone



Sanjit "Bunker" Roy & Meagan Fallone

Speaker Affiliation

Barefoot College, India

Disability Access Information

Wheelchair accessible


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