Thursday, April 7, 2011


Sandipta Dhar came in the journey of my destiny as a divine intervention, all the way from USA... we connected on Facebook and after a brief introduction through mails, started exchanging ideas and knowledge about each other’s life... and needless to say even before I said anything to her, she was part of the movement in her own ways... her inquisitiveness made her to ask a number of questions about ‘support 4 suicide farmers families’ and was surprised when I replied all of them... and soon, she started informing about various things and one of the most important pieces of information was the Barefoot College established by Shri Bunker Roy in Tilonia, Rajasthan... with a simple request that I should explore to strengthen the movement in Vidarbha...

Honestly, like millions of Indians, even I had never heard about the Barefoot College but online I got the required links and I was very-very amazed to read everything about how the small movement which started way back in the early 70s would shape up into one of the most amazing colleges of India, where no degrees are given and where the teacher is the learner and the learner is the teacher... with a simple idea that teach the villagers how to earn a living in whatever best possible way and change is bound to happen... the movement has spread its action of imparting knowledge and training villagers in more than 26 countries and in as many as 14 states and 200 villages of India.

The journey to Jaipur was amazing with my Brazilian co-worker Sherlene Lopes and lovely locals of Rajasthani families as company in train... it is our first visit to Rajasthan and I must confess Jaipur looked so familiar like all other cities look... heavy traffic, multi-storied buildings, malls, branded shops, swanky offices, education institutes and what not... similar as it is in every big cities in today’s modern times...deep down I was sad because earlier every city had its local flavour and identity... the only thing while travelling by bus was that some ancient architecture stood tall among the modern creations... so you know you are in Rajasthan... Sandipta I am truly-truly grateful to you for introducing me to the Barefoot College.

After a nice lunch near the railway station, we boarded the bus for Tilonia... meanwhile I was in regular touch with Shri Ram Karanji about where we have reached... once we reached near Pattan, he told he was sending a vehicle to pick us up... the journey with Vishramji, the driver (associated since last 15 years with the college) was making me feel so-so lucky... really I have no words to describe how I was feeling from within... from Bombay to Vidarbha and now all the way to a small village of Rajasthan Tilonia... SPEECHLESS! As I was enjoying the breeze, I was excited and looking forward to meet Shri Ram Karanji... Shri Bhanwarji (in administration since last 25 years) met us and it was lovely to hear everything about the college... and after a little while, the meeting with Shri Ram Karanji was simply an occasion of joy... he talked to us about the history of the movement with so much passion... we truly feel blessed to be under his spell... yes, it is difficult to feel otherwise according to me...

After the brief meeting, we watched a short film about Barefoot College and how the movement changed lives of the villagers... and then it was time for dinner... self-service, and lovely home food is an enchanting experience that I recommend every Indian to visit the college to learn so many beautiful things of life... and yes, one of the first person we met after reaching the college was Kareena.... a beautiful village girl, a student of standard two, smiling and sipping tea...our first friend in Tilonia... almost everyone wishes everyone with no bias or prejudice and it was so-so lovely to see smiling faces wishing us and when they were reciprocated... our first day has been a great experience and there is this new energy in me like the solar energy, which electrifies the whole college... as I am writing this piece lovely breeze is blowing, sound of dry leaves along with folk songs at the background sung by villagers are making this night to remember forever with amazing insights from this beautiful institution... tomorrow will be a lovely day to start meeting and learning from all the Barefoot engineers, scholars, technicians and interesting and amazing achievers of beautiful India!

Sandipta... I am so glad to be here today... Sai Baba bless you always!


  1. Thank you for the delighful story of Barefoot College. One day I hope to have a chance to go there?
    Bye the way do you hve any idea why their web site is not working?

  2. Inci thank you so much... I am glad you have enjoyed knowing about Barefoot College Tilonia... their website:

    ... is surely working... I just checked to let you know that it is very much working...

    Cuidate :)