How to reduce risk of theft: You can reduce risk of theft if you follow these simple rules:
- avoid signs of wealth: do not wear jewelry, hang cameras around your neck, or leave laptops, tablets and phones in view;
- take care with bike baskets; you raise risk of theft if you carry bags on the back or front baskets of cycles or motorbikes; zip up all pockets on your bag. Close all fasteners.
Take extra care on Sunday: Sunday, the day-off for city-folks and sometimes 2 or three young men may pile on a motorbike, for tourist-sport in Auroville,, so prefer a quiet day at home on Sunday; also avoid travel alone on Saturday night.
- Do not pick up hitchhikers; do not offer rides to men you don't know; for example, some attacks follow a fake wave-down 'request for help; or a faked road-side injury, so a women alone - of any age - should not stop if a person waves her down for help on the road; as other people may hide at the road-side; some attacks followed that call for help pattern;
- don't invite unknown persons into the place where you live; for example taxi drivers, delivery-people and strangers with unusual charm.
- always carry a torch: A head-torch may prove useful or add a LED torch to your key-ring. Night falls quickly in Auroville; 6:30 to 7:00 pm, dependent on the season;
- do not travel alone at night; go in groups or ask someone to escort you, in particular, on back roads between Fertile and Utility, and the tar road from Kuilapalayam to Edayanchavadi;
- to drive a vehicle, you need an International Driving Permit: Police may stop you and ask for bribes if you do not hold a licence; this applies to two wheelers and all other vehicles;
- keep valuables in guest house safes at all times; otherwise documents, devices and cash may disappear; lock your suitcase and bring a number-lock to lock cupboards;
- if you buy alchohol in Pondy and bring it back to Auroville local Police inside and outside Auroville may stop you and ask for bribe to carry the alchohol,, as on that journey, you cross the border from an alchol-permitted State, over into Tamil Nadu, a dry State.
Cultural clues: polite behaviour, modest clothes reduce risk:
On the beach: Men and women must show no show physical affection in public places; especially the the beach;
Out for a swim: Women and girls need full piece bathing suits, and a cloth to cover the body; In some beaches and pools, maybe best to go into the water with the cloth on; use judgement. A sun-bathe may attract the attention of local men who consider your action an invitation, to avoid risk, cover your body and don't lie on the beach alone, to sub-bathe.
Dress by local standards, both men and women: Near villages, wear modest clothes; long pants or long shorts and tops with sleeves; no short- shorts, bathing costumes, or halter-tops. Men must wear a shirt in public places.
Report theft or problems to your guest house manager: when you report events, you help Auroville record a patterns of behaviour, and map risks.
Security and ambulance emergency contact numbers
AV Security phone numbers:
Day/Night - 9443362691,
Police Liaison 9443090107
Health Center 0413 – 2622123,
PIMS Hospital 0413 – 2656271