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Life Education Centre Construction activities

Life Education Centre

1.Old kitchen2. New kitchen

3. Old classroom4. New classroom

6.Entrance

15. Kottakarai fence-makers

13. Outside sitting

This is an update of the extra work that we have done in the 2 months (May 15-July 15) that was remaining to be done after we completed the 2 rooms (new classroom and new kitchen) in February and March 2005 respectively.

In the end of March 2005, we realized that unless we complete this work of:

•  of putting metal grills for the new classroom

•  of re-fencing the whole campus

•  of making a pavement like a courtyard

•  of making a pathway that connects the new classroom and main building with the new kitchen and toilets,

we would not be able to use the 2 new structures to their maximum capacity. Further, we had as left-over material a lot of fine-grade gypsum gravel/chips and bricks that had been purchased for the construction, which we now wanted to use in making the above listed add-ons.

We started the above work in mid May 2005, and by mid-June, when the school reopened after a one-month summer break, the grills were already installed and classes could continue smoothly without any interruption. In the meanwhile, the pavement/courtyard was also completed before mid-June with a very small pond in its centre where water lilies have started blooming. The girls take an enormous pride in watching and taking care of this pond. After the re-opening of the school in mid-June, the pathways were almost getting completed making use of the gypsum chips. But we started getting many new students, and the since we still had some more construction material unused, we made another small outdoor meeting space, where a small class could be given to a smaller/new group, an art class/activity/crochet sessions could be done, students could even eat their lunch in summer time, or teachers could meet together or individually with students for counselling. The last activity of this period was the fencing of the whole campus there were delays in this because we needed to schedule this at the very end, after the other works were completed and there would not be more vehicles/trucks that would keep coming in and going out.

7. A paved courtyard with a small pond in the centre


All the above work was made possible because of the help, care and concern of Dhanapal and his team, who became like school members, and not like a hired work-force. We are very grateful to them for their support and excellent quality of work and innovative ideas (the AV symbol was an idea of the site supervisor Shankar!). All this 2-month work shown in the pictures has cost us Rs 85,000 (1700 euros) approximately and we have recovered almost Rs.35,000 so far through friends, colleagues and associates. Dhanapal's team has also done a lot of work during this period completely free of cost, as a token of their contribution towards such rural educational projects.

A long and winding path made of bricks and cement, with a beautiful symbol of Auroville made around the jamun fruit tree (In Tamil, this is called the naval tree- mythologically, Tamil saint and poetess Auvvaiyar got her enlightenment from Lord Muruga (Kartikeya) under the naval tree); this path finally reaches the new kitchen.Hence, as of 31 July 2005 (remember that this was the day in 2004 when we had to remove all our keet/thatched roofed structures as there was a Govt order enforcing this for safety from fire, after a devastating tragedy in Kumbakonam!), we can say that all our one year old team-commitments towards major and important construction work for the school are completed and we look forward to the maintenance and good use of the structures and spaces created.

All the work of this last one year, has been only possible because we have had enormous support in all forms (material, emotional, psychological, spiritual) from so many people and we are truly and sincerely grateful for this. Many have helped ensure the normal running of the school when the extra construction work of this last year was on-going. While words would not be sufficient to express our gratitude, nevertheless we say thank you very much!

The pond

It doesn't matter if you don't recognize the campus any more! But please do come and visit us.

Looking forward,

Staff and students of Life Education Centre, Auroville

 

The phases of construction  

Aug 2004- March 2005

Old and new kitchen and class.

May 2005- July 2005

A paved courtyard with a small pond in the centre; the entrance to the new classroom in the right, which has metal- window and door-grills.

A long and winding path made of bricks and cement, with a beautiful symbol of Auroville made around the jamun fruit tree (In Tamil, this is called the naval tree- mythologically, Tamil saint and poetess Auvvaiyar got her enlightenment from Lord Muruga (Kartikeya) under the naval tree); this path finally reaches the new kitchen.

From the kitchen, pathway-connections to the old main building (which houses the office, tailoring workspace, computer space), as well as to the toilets; en-route to the toilets, a small passage leading to a beautiful outdoor seating space. The fencing team from Kottakarai village.

Thank you for sharing and accompanying us in this journey together!

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