an outreach school of Auroville...
Auroville, the city-in-the-making, is located on the Coromandel Coast on the east side of south India. It draws its inspiration from the vision and work of the renowned Indian seer and spiritual visionary, Sri Aurobindo. His spiritual collaborator, the Mother, founded the township in 1968 and gave its Charter.
The writings of these visionaries, and the specific guidelines for Auroville given by the Mother are crucial for an in-depth understanding of the principal aim of Auroville, a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding.
Ideal of Human Unity
"With the present morality of the human race a sound and durable human unity is not yet possible; but there is no reason why a temporary approximation to it should not be the reward of strenuous aspiration and untiring effort. By constant approximations and by partial realisations and temporary successes Nature advances", writes Sri Aurobindo, and this reality stands central in Auroville and acts as perpetual encouragement for the residents to persevere.
Auroville, through its Charter and organizational principles, seeks to encourage, create and maintain "a spiritual oneness which would create a psychological oneness not dependent upon any intellectual or outward uniformity."
Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.
Location and History
Tthe Mother had been living in Puducherry since 1920 and it was there, in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1964, that the idea of Auroville was conceived. Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had expressed in their earliest writings the necessity of starting, at some point, a collective experiment under optimum conditions - ideally in the form of a city - in order to create a bridgehead for a new consciousness which was seeking to manifest in the world.
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, formally created in 1926 in Puducherry, was a first attempt in the direction of such a collective experiment. It was only in 1964 that the Mother felt that the time had come for such a bold experiment to be started on the bigger scale of a city.
City of Dawn
The name 'Auroville' was given in homage to Sri Aurobindo, while also meaning 'City of Dawn'. The idea was recognized by the Government of India.
A location near to Puducherry was found which, at the time, was largely barren, deforested land. The time was right, the wheel set in motion, and support and people started coming to Auroville. The first people to come, the pioneers from many different countries, started planting trees and today Auroville is remarkable for its lush tree cover. They also began the building of the Matrimandir, the soul of Auroville, which today attracts people from all over India and the world.
The inauguration of Auroville took place on February 28th, 1968. Auroville has had worldwide recognition since the very beginning and has received the unanimous endorsement of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966, 1968, 1970, 1983, 2007.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations in India and abroad have funded various development programmes, and donations have been received from Auroville International Centres, and from private donors around the world. The residents themselves have also made, and continue to make, a major contribution of their resources and energy to the project.
Auroville is intended as a city for up to 50,000 inhabitants from around the world. Today its inhabitants number around 2,400 people, drawn from almost fifty countries, including India. They live in more than 100 settlements of varying size, separated by village and temple lands and surrounded by Tamil villages with a total population of over 35,000 people.
Aikiyam School (NCBS) is one of the outreach schools of Auroville set up to extend the experiment of integral education into the surrounding Tamil villages. In these villages many children live in impoverished circumstances and Aikiyam seeks to improve the children's wellbeing, and present and future circumstances.
Auroville activities are multifarious, and include further afforestation, organic agriculture, educational research, health care, village development, appropriate technology, building construction, information technology, small and medium scale businesses, town planning, water table management, research into new forms of economy and organization, cultural activities and community services.
In 1988 the Government of India passed the Auroville Foundation Act to safeguard the development of Auroville according to its Charter. This Act established three constituent bodies: the Governing Board, which would oversee the development of the township in collaboration with its inhabitants, the Residents' Assembly, which includes all residents of 18 years and above, and the International Advisory Council, which can provide international support and advice, when required, to the Governing Board.
As the world is more and more ready to enter a new phase of development and growth, Auroville provides a wide field of intelligent and innovative practices, and Aikiyam School is proud and happy to be one of them.