Bunker Roy, Habitats
Sanjit "Bunker" Roy is a product of Doon School and St.Stephen's College, Delhi. Since 1972 Bunker has been living in Tilonia, a village in one of India's largest, driest and poorest states, where he is founder and director of the Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC), a voluntary foundation better known as Barefoot College. "Barefoot" refers to rural people and the poor.
Barefoot College was founded to provide basic needs such as drinking water, health and education services, employment and energy to a population of some of 100,000 people spread among more than 110 villages in the Rajasthan desert state. The college provides nine different areas of specialization: drinking water, night schools, health centers, solar power, environment, income generation, traditional media, people's action, and women's groups. All students are equipped with basic literacy, health and first aid skills and are then urged to move from one area to another, understanding their inter-relationships and learning the principles of community building and sustainability.
Over the years Barefoot College has become more oriented towards the use of traditional knowledge and skills by the local people in the villages to develop their communities. The college has set up 150 night schools in 89 villages for children who work during the day to help their families. To date, 15,000 children have passed through these schools, where village culture, history and skills appropriate to the regional context are privileged subjects.
Bunker and his wife the noted social activist Aruna Roy have won many awards including the Arab Gulf Fund for the United Nations (AGFUND) Award for promoting Volunteerism, The World Technology Award for Social Entrepreneurship, The Schwab Foundation for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs, The Stockholm Challenge Award for Information Technology, The NASDEQ Stock Market Education Award, and the Tyler Prize.
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