13 May 2014 : Mr Bunker Roy, a welknown philanthropist and the Founder of Barefoot College, India, visited Kota Kinabalu recently. A dinner were hosted in conjunction of the Kaamatan celebration to welcome Mr Bunker and his Associate, Ms Meagan Fallone. Almost 50 SWEPA Ladies gathered in the home of our PP Datuk Adeline Leong and were enlighten by the episode of Bunker’s establishment of being the only solar electrified college in the deserts of Rajasthan in India 40 years ago.
In the 20 years that the demystified and decentralized community based Barefoot approach has been implemented in over 30 of the least developed countries, a total of 36,000 houses in 1,024 villages have been solar electrified by nearly 300 illiterate rural grandmothers. Without using the written or spoken word, they have been trained in 6 months using only sign language in India, in the Barefoot College to be Solar Engineers under a scheme called ITEC of the Government of India.
Bunker Roy was identified as one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet by The Guardian in 2008 and as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine in 2010.
SWEPA Ladies were equally enthralled and inspired by Bunker’s dedication to aid the unfortunate.