Tag: solar engineers

girl power

Nazma Nigam :: Solar Lighting Engineer

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Nazma Nigam. Solar Lighting Engineer.
streaming video — 01:20

From the villagers I heard about a project providing work to illiterate women. When I came here I was scared because I never went to school. But people were I had to leave home early to come to work and traveling was difficult. My in-laws were not liking it as I gave not enough time to my children. After a while they agreed with the fact that I could stay on the campus with my children.
I started at Barefoot as a gardener but I needed more money to raise my kids. In the solar section they were looking for more people to help them with the village solar lighting systems I applied for that department and I started the training.
I followed the complete solar training. They explained me the colors of the circuit and after a while I understood the concept.

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Magan Kawar :: Solar Lighting Engineer.

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Magan Kawar. Solar Lighting Engineer.
streaming video — 01:40

I belong to the Rajput-caste. The Rajput kings and queens were very rich, but there are also poor Rajputs.
My husband got to know about Barefoot College through a village politician and he came here to have a look. He really liked the College approach and he decided to stay. I followed my husband to Barefoot.
I got a lot of reactions from my village people that I wanted to get out of the purdah-system. Rajput woman are supposed to stay their whole life behind the purdah-curtain and are not allowed to see or meet other people. But I decided to go for the training anyway.
My family and my in-laws were afraid I wouldn’t be able to combine work, taking care of the kids and the household. But I convinced them that I would do everything to handle work and family and to manage all my work. And with the support of my husband I started my job at the college.

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trajectories of change :: portraits of barefoot women

Technology is a valuable input for social transformation, but the most important force is human agency and creativity: the microlevel initiatives and everyday activities of real human beings.

In following interviews the Barefoot Solar Engineers talk about their visions, methods and sources of inspiration to shape their future and bring social transformation.

For full interviews and background information, check the links on the playlist.
Scroll down for complete selection: Rami, Mangi, Leela, Magan, Sita, Shamma, Sargu and Nazma.

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presentation of the Barefoot College

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barefoot related videos by third parties

Interview with Bunker Roy, co-founder of the Barefoot College (by Rocketboom).
Interview with Vandana Shiva, eco-feminist and founder of the Navdanya organisation.
Barefoot Solar Engineers in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (by Neeta Lal).
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Solar Sita :: solar cooker engineer


Sita Bai is one of the Barefoot SolarCooker Engineers. Together with 3 other women she runs the solar-cooker section of the College.
Some years ago she decided to start a 6 months training as solar panel engineer, and she continued her education with a focus on solar cookers.
Today the women are responsible for the construction of the large parabolic dishes, covered with regular pieces of mirror.
They tailor them precisely according to the blueprints of a German Engineer, Wolfgang Scheffler, with whom they still collaborate and improve the reflectors and machinery when needed.
They organise their smithy, weld and solder the mechanical parts for the cookers out of recycled bicycle parts. Their apparatus are sold to organisations in India who use them in community kitchens.

Scheffler’s Community Solar Cooker
Scheffler’s Solar Cooker – pdf

solar engineer training at the Barefoot College

 For videos on the solar workshops, check the category ‘media’.

At Barefoot College, ordinary men and women -whatever their qualifications- can learn about solar energy. Roles have to be flexible: the teacher can be the learner and the learner can be the teacher.
The whole environment is one of creative learning, demystifying technology and unlearning through processes that are natural, non violent and respectful.
At present time, 32 Buthanese girls and 6 Mauretanian women follow a 6 months training to become a solar engineer in their home villages.

They are selected by their communities to be trained in the installation, repair and maintenance of solar photovoltaic units. They learn the necessary skills to repair inverters and charge the controllers for the solar units they will look after.
Every family of the remote village communities pays a small sum for the equipment and the services of the solar engineers. As such, every member of the community takes his responsability in this ecological project of sustainable energy.

solar energy installation manual download pdf
solar energy maintenance manual download pdf