Category Archives: Social Development

'Accessible Puducherry'- Workshop

Satya Special School organized a Workshop on “ACCESSIBLE PUDUCHERRY – A STEP TOWARDS AN INCLUSION” on 21st October 2016 at Convention cum Cultural Center, Pondicherry University (A Central Univeristy). Department of Social Work has taken a profound initiative by hosting the event.

India has an estimated 70 million disabled people. Most of them remain confined to their homes due to complete lack of accessible infrastructure. Any attempt to travel, enter buildings, parks, shops etc can be impossible, unsafe or humiliating. They, therefore remain unseen, unheard, unaccounted and are rightly called – an invisible minority.
Accessibility has been one of the most neglected issues in the disability sector in India and is probably one of the crucial factors that can free up the potential and availability of opportunities for disabled people.

The Disability Act (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1995. The Act mandates non-discrimination in transportation and the built environment. However, there has not been much progress so far on these aspects, in India.

Access and Accessible refer to the freedom of choice to enter approach, communicate or make use of a situation or environment without assistance and undue difficulties.
Keeping the above, the following objectives were focused at the workshop:

1. Create awareness on accessibility among various stake-holders
2. Current status on accessibility in Puducherry
3. Road map towards an inclusive Puducherry

And the distinguished Speakers for Accessibility workshop are:

Dr. Chdambaram for the topic 'Accessibility in Educational institutions - Pondicherry University' ; Mr. Alkahj for 'African Perspective on Accessibility - CIAI Pondicherry' ; Mr. Sudhakar for 'Accessibility Aids and its Importance - Mobility India'; Dr. Srinivas Murthy for 'Accessibility for persons with mental disability' ; Ms. Susmita for Accessible Auroville and Dr. Gulam for 'Accessibility in Developed countries' - Pondicherry university

Why AV, IZ? War and Peace

As part of the regular discussions at CHIRU at Auroville Town Hall, Giacomo  has taken a lead in organizing a talk on 'war and peace'. This concept has to be much discussed and addressed in the present global era. Leo Tolstoy has written a piece on 'war and peace' which is very relevant in the present situation and people should learn living in peace than in war. Giacomo  has stated that 'peace means unity and there can be no peace without partnership and harmony. Andrea has discussed on various wars that took place in history mainly during the 14th to 19th century. He said that Wars have been a part of human life since history and the usage of atomic bombs during the second world war have shaped the world into a nuclear driven nation-states and threaten a happy society. Ego, Arrogance, Supremacy and Conflict between two main super powers have disturbed the innocent societies of the world. The speakers at the discussion have also discussed on the number of atomic bombs exploded during 1945-1998, it was 2053 and USA tops the list with a nuclear explosion of 1032 times. The main reason for these explosions was not to wage a real war but to create 'deterrence' and showcase the strength of their military to their opponents and the weaker nations. Finally, Aryamani concluded the discussion by saying that Auroville and the International Zone of the Auroville can take a pioneer role in promoting the Unity and Peace among individuals and nations. "We don't realize wars when we live in peace"

Comments: 0 Date: 05 Aug 2016

Engaging with Unltd Tamil Nadu

Unltd Tamil Nadu was founded by Gijs Spoor in Auroville as a space to search and support exceptional individuals committed to solving problems through their entrepreneurial skills. Essentially it seeks to encourage social entrepreneurs aiming to address the various challenges presented in Auroville and beyond in Tamil Nadu. On 16th March, 2016 they had a Peer Learning Session along with an evaluation meeting wherein presentations were made by the different social startups associated with this initiative.

Supporting approximately 15-20 projects a year, Unltd Tamil Nadu emphasises on peer connection and a sense of community in their approach. Fostering growth through 'changemakers', they provide a sense of security to those looking to work outside of a conventional framework and embrace experimentation and ideation as their core.

We met Gijs, Victor and Shiva at Auromode and discussed with them the feedback that they received at the evaluation meeting, their vision for the future as well as the challenges faced in terms of the connotations attached in Auroville to commercial activity. They also talked to us about a Pre-Incubation Programme that aims at involving youth searching for alternative career options.

You can access more information about them on their website:

Oneness among a myriad cultures

In a recent interview with Mr. Luigi, a lead member of the International Zone  Coordination Group at the occasion of the Meeting held at Unity Pavilion of Auroville on 22nd February 2016, has expressed great impressions on the ongoing infrastructure development plan of the International Zone which is soon being setup in Auroville He has represented all the Auroville guests, visitors and new comers in the creation of a platform for an International Zone to exhibit and exchange various cultures and traditions of different country nationals who join Auroville. This International Zone is an unique place in India, where different parts of lands at Auroville would be allotted to various countries for the construction of their pavilions in their native design and style. This would create an atmosphere for mutual respect and cooperation and above that empowers exchange of culture and promote Peace among the different societies of the world. The interesting part is that, these pavilions would be the permanent mission of Auroville International Zone and would be a symbolic representation of the various regions and continents of the world. He later added that, these development plans are being structured with the help of volunteers from India and African student community of Architecture background. This meeting and interview has convinced me to suggest this International Zone be viewed as an union of a mini world, where various delegates, volunteers of Auroville and other guests and visitors experience the atmosphere of the world cultures at one place, therefore can be regarded as " An Umbrella of myriad cultures ".

Comments: 0 Date: 24 Feb 2016

AVAG Women's festival

On the 8th of September, AVAG organized a women's festival that was attended by hundreds of women from the villages. The pompous event showcased these talented women in a new light. They danced away to glory, sang melodiously, acted like professional movie stars as well. Their talent was lauded by the community members and the event was a platform to showcase their hidden talents. The festival was organised by the women and the second half of the festival would be conducted in October. The event was attended by Mallika Sarabhai as the women danced away to various dance forms that are central to Tamil Nadu. The festival threw light on how empowered these women are and their various talents as well.

Vox Pop on Roundabout

VOX POP: it is about taking up any existing issue and collecting opinion from the people about the issue.
This Vox Pop is all about the round about in Auroville near the solar kitchen, and the problems faced by the people while riding and walking across the round about.
We also have the official voice bite from the architect Jan, who has shared his ideas and views from his experience.

Rod: Critical Thinking is needed

Rod revisits the topic of change in Auroville, in this hour long conversation we touch the topics of; Ideology, Town Planning, Economy, International Zone, Growth, Statistics, Working Groups, after the Retreat (?) ... and the urgent need for critical thinking in Auroville. He reminds us of the COP21 agreements events furthered in (April and May 2016) to combat Global Climate Change and suggests the occasion to mark change in Auroville.

Comments: 1 Date: 10 Mar 2016

IYD with Gratitude and Generosity

International Youth Day was celebrated here in Auroville for two days - Friday 12th and Saturday 13th at Unity Pavilion. Both days filled with joy , grace, and lots of positivity. Main actors of the events were members of Youth Link. On Firday they have presented themselves, their scope of work, goals, hopes.
Sturday passed in more cheerful way with different stalls, acts, conversations, music .....
through busy chatter Chandana managed to catch some of the participants for short interviews.

Samuel Chabre en studio

En visite a Auroville Samuel nous confie ses impressions Samuel met un point d’honneur à se sentir bien au travail. « La façon de concevoir sa vie et l’esprit dans lequel nous faisons notre travail sont intimement liés. Et partout il doit y avoir de la joie » Cette convivialité entre collègues se nourrit selon lui de rencontres en dehors du travail. Se retrouver régulièrement à des forums, des conférences, ou des meetings entretient une bonne collaboration une fois revenus dans les bureaux. Et pas question de hiérarchie : ici on parle plutôt de sociocratie ou d’holocratie. Une organisation qui ne serait ni tout à fait horizontale, ni tout à fait pyramidale. Ce qui est important, c’est que chacun sache pourquoi il est là. Pour Samuel, cette conception du travail ne souffre pas de serment exclusif à un seul employeur : avoir plusieurs jobs, c’est aussi avoir plus de missions. Comme ses camarades, Samuel a beaucoup voyagé, il a vu d’autres modes de fonctionnement, il a intégré la protection de son environnement. « Ma vie a plus de sens avec les autres, et nous pouvons construire ensemble un monde plus juste ». Sa génération, affirme-t-il, ne se réalise pas dans la foi en une idéologie, mais davantage dans la mise en place d’actions, ici, près de chez soi. Etre solidaire aujourd’hui, c’est incarner ses valeurs.

Comments: 1 Date: 15 Apr 2016

Pondicherry Equestrian Challenge

The Pondicherry Equestrian Challenge (PEC) 2016 has been organized for two weeks at the RED EARTH RIDING SCHOOL, Auroville. Many riders from Bangalore, Chennai, Cuddalore, Tirupur, Pondicherry and Auroville have participated in the wonderful event. The local residents and guests and visitors of Auroville enjoyed the Jumping Challenge at this PEC 2016. Events like these make youth energized says a visitor. Parents should make sure of making their children involve in various sports and extra curricular activities which helps their growth in an inclusive manner rather than forcing them to stick to books alone. Books provide knowledge and wisdom and activities like these promotes holistic development. Cash prizes were given to the winners in three categories. CAT A: 135 Cms, CAT B: 120 Cms and CAT C: 110 Cms. The interesting thing about these competitions was that students of grade 8 have taken part. Therefore, there were various levels of competitions depending on the height of their strengths. Programs like these should be encouraged by governments and the civil societies to develop a spirit for Equestrian culture, says Sri, a resident of Auroville. Some photos courtesy by

Comments: 1 Date: 07 Mar 2016
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