New Delhi: They are illiterate and come from non-electrified villages in remote parts of the world. But, besides being all grandmothers, the one thing they all have in common is they are trained solar power technicians now.
At the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, a grandmother from inaccessible areas of the world that lack electricity can enrol for the international solar training course that helps light up their lives and those of others.
The Indian government pays the airfare and six months’ training cost for every person willing to come to India, college founder Bunker Roy said at a special programme organised on International Women’s Day here Saturday.
“I was very happy to have had the opportunity to travel to India. When I go back, I would be able to teach other people in my village. They are already constructing the building where I would teach,” Anna Paula from Brazil, who completed the course this year, said.
Sharing her apprehension of travelling to India, she said: “Initially, when I was asked whether I would go to India, I was scared that this might be trafficking.”
Roy who travels to countries as far as Tanzania and Togo to get women to enrol for the course said he ensures women are illiterate or semi-literate and hail from villages where there is no power.
“The idea is to make these women go back and electrify their villages and also teach other people the skills of solar engineering they acquire here,” he said.
Rosa, another woman from Mexico, said: “When we go back home, we would teach people from this experience.”
During the course, women learn to assemble solar power circuits, mobile chargers, fixed solar units and lamps, which are then shipped to their villages.