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Bunker Roy

Founder and Director, Barefoot College

Skoll Awardee


Bunker Roy’s “real” education started when after being educated in Doon School(1956-1962) and St Stephens College(1962-1967)-he dug open wells for drinking water as an unskilled labourer for 5 years (1967-1971).
It is the only College in India built by the poor and managed by the rural poor who earn less than $ 1/day. Almost the only College left in India that respects and practices the work style and life style of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a College where the teacher is the learner and the learner the teacher. It is the only College in India where traditional knowledge and practical skills of the poor are given more importance and priority than paper degrees or qualifications.
In the 20 years that the demystified and decentralized community based Barefoot approach has been implemented in over 78 of the Least Developed Countries, a total of 40,000 houses in over 1,000 villages have been solar electrified by nearly 800 illiterate rural grandmothers. Only using sign language in 6 months they are solar engineers.
Bunker Roy gave a TED talk at TED Global in Edinburgh in October 2011. 3.5 million hits translated into 45 languages.
TED talk 2011
The Schwab Foundation for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs, World Economic Forum Switzerland September 2002: The Stockholm Challenge Award Sweden October 2002: Tech Museum California November 2002: St Andrews Prize for the Environment, Scotland May 2003: Tyler Prize April 2004 California USA: The Skoll Foundation 2005: US $ 1 million ALCAN Award for Sustainability 2006: The Sierra Club Green Energy Award :Robert Hill Award For Promotion of Solar Energy Hamburg Germany September 2009 : Asian Excellence Awards, London, November 2011, Social Entrepreneur of the Year. April 2010 identified by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world Blue Planet Prize Japan November 2011: Clinton Global Citizen Award New York September 2013: