Mumbai’s Barefoot Researchers

The Barefoot Research is an in-house publication that comes out of a sustained conversation over six years at PUKAR about the relationship between documentation, research and citizenship in today’s “mega cities”.
Barefoot Researchers is a term based upon the famous Barefoot Doctors of China, people who were minimally trained yet provided the most critical, at times, life saving services to those who could not access it, they being at the margins of society. PUKAR’s Barefoot Researchers, a term coined by Arjun Appadurai, represent similar cadre of youth who are trained over a period of a year to do basic social science research. Armed with this capability, they use research as a tool for locating the problems that are embedded in their daily lives or the lives of their communities and finding the local solutions that are shaped by global realities and in the process transform themselves as well as the communities they work with. This book illustrates about 150 such research projects along with seminal essay written by Professor Arjun Appadurai.

This publication is the first opportunity for the general reader to learn from this experience and help to make it an even stronger experiment in democratizing the means of knowledge production.