Tilonia, a small village in the desert regions of Rajasthan, India, is home of theBarefoot College. Since 1972, the College has worked to improve the lives of the rural poor by addressing basic needs for water, electricity, housing, health, education and income.
Weaving was traditionally a scheduled caste occupation restricted to a community called Balais or Meghwals. These communities used pit looms that produced a 24" width fabric. Handlooms were introduced as they produced fabric wider than than the pit looms, and thus were more efficient. With the change in looms, people from all communities became weavers as the caste associations of pitloom weaving were removed. There is also a group of Rajput women from the village of Kada who have broken tradition to learn how to weave.