Mar 29, 2021

We'd Like You to Meet Kushboo and Nishu of the Kaliyachak Girls School!


Let us introduce you to Khushboo, 11 years old, and Nishu, 10 years old, who are two of the 100 girls now attending the Kaliyachak Girls School.

Khushboo is studying in the 4th standard at the school. She is a good student and proud of ranking second in her class. She was born and lives in village Mal Bigha which is right next door to Kaliyachak.

Khushboo's parents work a small piece of farmland as well as working as sharecroppers. Khushboo has two brothers. She is especially interested in music and mathematics. She loves all kinds of play, skipping, football and in particular, carrom, a popular board game in India. She is sure she wants to study further after she completes her education at the Kaliyachak Girls School although she is not certain about where and how she will continue her studies.

Nishu is in the 6th standard. She ranks first in her class. She was born and lives in the nearby village of Gaura.

Nishu's parents work as sharecroppers, where they can find daily casual labour, and have a small piece of land of their own. Nishu is the youngest of five children in her family. One of her two brothers and one of her three sisters are married. Her favourite subjects are Hindi and art. She is good at tailoring and she loves all games. She definitely wants to complete school and to go to high school after she graduates from the school in Kaliyachak.

Both the girls may not have the opportunity to study after school, but let's see what we can do to change that.

The rural hamlet of Kaliyachak and the surrounding communities do not have a government school for girls. The nearest one is 7 kilometers away and is co-ed. Many parents, fearing for their childrens' safety are unwilling to risk sending their daughters to the co-educational government school and, unable to afford private education, rely on the Kaliyachak Girls School for their daughters' education.

The school's students come from Kaliyachak and the six neighbouring hamlets of Aganu Bigha, Kapsiwayan, Mal Bigha, Bhat Bigha, Sarista Nagar and Hazari. It is estimated that these villages together have an additional 350+ girls out of school.

With your help, we're giving these girls the gift of education and all the benefits an education brings. Thank you for your generousity and support. 


(C) 2021 Photos courtesy of Vipul Sangoi. 



Jan 4, 2021

Thank You for Providing Clean Drinking Water in 2020!

Clean drinking water for school children in India
Clean drinking water for school children in India

Dear friends, 

Rainwater harvesting systems at schools and other community buildings are just one of the many ways that the Barefoot College of Tilonia works to expand access to water in drought-prone Rajasthan, India.

Water Scarcity

Rural communities throughout India and the rest of the southern hemisphere often suffer from water scarcity, droughts and a lack of clean water sources for sanitation, drinking and cooking. Barefoot College has been providing sustainable, community-based solutions to these challenges while guided by five key principles for more than four decades:

  • decentralization of water sources
  • replenishment of water tables
  • participation of rural communities in implementation
  • reduced dependency on external aid
  • fair treatment of women and children who are affected by water scarcity the most

Why Rainwater?

Barefoot College believes that every drop of fresh water that falls on the ground, especially in developing regions, should be harvested for use. Rather than wasting water that runs off rooftops and along streets, we combine traditional harvesting practices with new technologies to make water accessible, clean and safe to drink. We do not have to rely on wells and unpredictable groundwater levels to provide potable water to hundreds of thousands of people in need.

Of all the water solutions that the Barefoot College has tried and tested, rainwater harvesting has been the most sustainable and effective. Rainwater harvesting is a low cost method with maximum benefits. It provides clean, potable drinking water for villages, irrigates fields and sustains livestock—all important criteria for communities that depend on agriculture and animal husbandry.

Barefoot College has implemented community-based solutions to address water scarcity including:

  • rainwater harvesting systems
  • rural check dams
  • groundwater recharge from rain cachement in local wells and ponds
  • solar-powered reverse osmosis water desalination plants

Did You Know?

When water for family needs is readily available at school, more families send their girls to school. Collecting water from a local well or pond in rural Rajasthan is most often a household chore assigned to the girls in each family.  When these girls can collect clean drinking water at school, more girls attend school. Access to water can be as important as availability of water and have an impact on health, hygiene and education.

Your Impact

We thank you for your support in 2020 to provide clean drinking water for children and their families in rural Rajasthan through this project.

With support from people like you over the past four decades, the Barefoot College has helped rural communities construct more than 1,600 rainwater harvesting systems which collect more than billion liters of clean drinking water and benefit more than 2 million people.

You can continue your impact this year. Please consider renewing your support for 2021.

Wishing you all the best for the new year ahead. 

Thank you,

Ellen Fish
Friends of Tilonia, Inc.

Completed rainwater system
Completed rainwater system
Clean drinking water for school girls
Clean drinking water for school girls


Dec 1, 2020

The Portrait of a Young Girl from Kaliyachak

Hiramani at the Kaliyachak Girls School
Hiramani at the Kaliyachak Girls School

Dear friends,

Hiramani is all of 9 years old. She is the daughter of agricultural labourers who sometimes must migrate in order to find work.

Before starting school at the Kaliyachak Girls School, Hiramani used to help her parents in their work. Until last year, Hiramani was one of the 45 million out-of-school children in India. That changed last year when she began attending the community school regularly, 6 days a week.

Now, Hiramani studies math, science, social studies as well as Hindi and English. She can now read basic Hindi and English, including the newspaper. She enjoys reading books and playing with other girls from the community.  She also loves a good game of Carom. She has decided that she wants to pursue her education at least till the 10th grade.

Today, young girls like Hiramani depend on all-girl, community schools to access even the most basic education, a right that every child has but is too often denied.

With your advocacy and support for girls' education, we can continue to enroll girls like Hiramani in the Kaliyachak Girls School.  And we can continue to expand the educational program to include mid-day meals, sports, extra-curricula in arts and storytelling as well as vocational training for the older students. 

This Giving Tuesday, we hope you will continue your support for the Kaliyachak Girls School -- and the girls, like Hiramani, who deserve an education.

Thank you for your support. 


Priya Krishnamoorthy


Photo credit: Vipul Sangoi (c) 2020


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