Gyaarah (eleven)

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said goodbye to the vatsalya team and headed off for our visit to barefoot college http://www.barefootcollege.org/ in rural rajasthan with a quick diversion (for shopping purposes) to touristy pushkar. the barefoot college campus lies about an hour and a half outside of jaipur down a dusty, bumpy road. established in 1972, barefoot college provides basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. some of the programs they offer include solar energy (which they’ve expanded to include training for women in other developing countries, see day 12), water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. colleen and I went to learn more about the women’s empowerment and handicrafts programs. upon our arrival we were shown to our rooms and invited to community tea at 5. after some chatting one of the barefoot staff members invited us to visit a night school session later that evening. since rural children (about 70% of whom are girls) spend the day as goat and sheep herders they’re not able to attend school. in response, barefoot established these night schools scattered throughout the countryside.
since we arrived to campus late in the afternoon we were promised a tour of the handicrafts operations the following day. but we got a sneak peak of what was underway by stopping into the shop teeming with handicrafts made entirely on the premises. it was amazing… (see day 12!)

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