CHANDIGARH–August 7, 2008: University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development alongwith Centre for Adult, Continuing Education & Extension organized an Awareness program for the students of University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development related to our Social, Community Responsibility.
Dr. Mrs. Janak Mc Gillgan and her husband Mr. James R McGILLIGAN who are running Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in Indore shared their experiences with the students. Jimmy, an Irishman has been working in India since 1986 alongwith Janak who started her social work venture in 1985. Janak is a recipient of Rajmata Vijay Raje Scindia Social Service award, which she received in 2007. Jimmy received the “Order of British Empire” by Queen of England in June 2008 for his social service and promotion of use of alternative energy by rural communities in India.
The duo spoke about how they train Community Volunteers amongst the illiterates and school dropouts among the tribals of Madhya Pradesh at their Institute. After training, them for 6 months they help them appear for their examination through NIOS and award them certificates. These volunteers spread their learning amongst the other tribal and deprived women of Madhya Pradesh. McGILLIGAN believe in an integrated approach for Development and Empowerment of Women. At Barli Institute, they focus on growing their own food on the 6-acre land, and reusing and recycling every product and by product. Barli means the central pillar of a tribal home/ hut and is a common girls name amongst tribal girls.
The women learn batik, painting, making handicraft items, mason’s jobs, etc. They make and sell parabolic cookers. They sell these products at the ‘HATT’, local village market. Jimmy is the first person in India to encourage direct cooking in the kitchen of Barli Institute even at nights. It is the process where steam is stored in solar parabolic cookers and energy can be used even after sun down.
The entire experience of sharing their views was very enlightening for the students who were very curious to know more details of the works of Jimmy and Janak. The students were encouraged to contribute to the community around them in their own way. They could train and empower the rural community in the region with the skills they are learning at UIFT and thus help them find skilled jobs. The UIFT students thus learnt their humble lesson in Lifestyle Management through this interaction according to Director, CACEE, PU.