6 February 2022
15 women from rural communities across India underwent five months solar training at Harmara village-based Barefoot College International (BCI) and are graduating as ‘Solar Engineers’ on February 1, 2023. This is the 19th graduation ceremony after which a batch of women with no formal education would henceforth have a skill through which they would electrify their villages that are otherwise in acute darkness. These women are from states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
On this occasion RTDC Chairperson Dharmendra Rathore graced the event and motivated solar mamas and appreciated the work being done here at Barefoot College International (BCI). FORTI women chairman Ranoo Srivastava was also present.
After this five-month training, these women are now self-equipped and can easily make Bindi torchlight, Devi torchlight, Diva lantern, home-lighting system, solar LED bulb. After passing out, they would electrify 50 households in their villages, equipment needed for the electrification would be sent to their villages by BCI before they leave the campus.
Apart from Solar training, building confidence and competence among women has been an important part of the curriculum, for this a digital literacy curriculum has been designed and implemented. Women were introduced to smartphone cameras: smartphone part names and functions, on/off, volume, speaker, earphone jack, front / back camera, how to take photos, record videos. They were given a brief knowledge about basic things like photos, videos, clock, setting, calculator, sound recorder, torch, downloads folder, notepad, power saving, taking a screenshot, google play store.