The Ray Of Light In Rural India – Bunker Roy

A man who managed to change the definition of villages, a man who was amongst Times’ 100 most influential personalities in 2010 for his work in educating illiterate and semi-literate Indians and a man who brought about a revolutionary impact in rural India with his willpower and intelligence had led on to an inspirational journey a few decades back. He created a place for learners, seekers and for anyone looking to contribute. What followed ever since then is simply history making its way into the future; for today is revolutionary.
Mr Roy founded Barefoot College in the year 1972. An institute that teaches rural women and men; many of whom are illiterate, to become self-sufficient. With this initiative came a night school in the year 1975 from which until today, about 75000 students have passed and 80%  have stayed back in the village.
Like each one of us, Mr Roy has had his bad times too. The darkest moments for him have been the ones when he could not convince his kind that there’s a way forward. There’s an alternative, which is an indigenous Indian way of looking at things.
We constantly deal with our negatives, flaws and fears. Mr Roy has one concern too…He fears that locals may lose the capacity to learn new things. He feels that the transition of someone who has done extraordinary work has actually come to a stage where they don’t want to learn something new.
How can we replicate Barefoot College model?
-Fight with your parents and stay in a village for 6 months.
-Challenge yourself and come to Tilonia
– You won’t be offered any monetary gains but you will have a family.
Quotes by Mr Roy
“We don’t have to show our degree to prove our worth.”
“What I have as a human being is more important than what I have with a piece of paper”
“1000s of people living in Delhi, Mumbai and cities similar look at coming to a village as a failure. That’s not true. Villages are the very roots.”
“We cannot have an urban solution to a rural problem”
“Future lies in how you decentralise.”
“Improve the quality of people in villages so they don’t migrate to cities”
“What I have as a human being is more important than what I have with a piece of paper”
“Never ask any individual about its qualification, that just doesn’t matter. What matters are the skills that are possessed, developed and put to use…”
Author Rights: Pooja Akula, ERC 2017