ByÂ Tejaswini Beerapu:
Mira Alfassa or “The Mother”, wife of Philosopher Sri Aurobindo founded ‘City of Dawn’ in Vilappuram in 1968. The idea was to attain a harmonious lifestyle. She shared her idea to build a society free of political, religious and hierarchical barriers with few prospective volunteers.
When they believed in the idea and ventured out to start all they had was just barren land. Volunteers gave up normal lifestyle for the restoration of this land to transform it into what it is today – Auroville. It is a choice to become an Aurovilian and it is not an easy choice to make. There are duties to be performed every day such as everybody builds their own house, cooks food for the group and other such everyday routine duties. Apart from that every person belongs to a group which has a goal. It might be towards the preservation of natural resources, working on innovative ideas or to keep a certain part of our culture alive. Given the number of groups, each has its own value.
All electricity in the area comes from solar energy. The methods used to produce it are extremely impressive. No one in the area is supposed to consume more than 50 liters of water. This is one of the best practices given the fact how much water we waste every single day and can’t even dare to imagine one single day without it. The whole idea is to live in harmony with nature and exhibit human unity which is evident from the people who have come to live there from around 40 different countries around the world.
So how is human unity practiced? It is not as easy as it sounds. It can only be achieved when every culture is recognized for its uniqueness and given full freedom without projecting one being subservient to the other but rather bringing out the equity in all. It requires great knowledge and wisdom to understand this both of which come when one works towards it.
The Aurovilian’[s are not paid wages for the effort and instead given a maintenance fee. This shows the selfless side of the people which deserves appreciation. Auroville not only attracts international tourists but tourists from all over India. This has shown to help local villagers improve their business and it has also increased local employment which in itself is an achievement.
All in all Auroville if not anything is contributing towards the protection of Nature which is extremely important today. As responsible human beings it is our duty to respect planet Earth and make reasonable use of the available resources. It is never right to exploit or mess with Nature as we know when Nature hits back there is no way around.