The Pavilion of India
Since last several years BHARAT NIVAS has been serving the physical and cultural necessities of the community of Auroville as a whole. The so called unfinished buildings of Bharat Nivas have been the centre of activities of life in Auroville by housing most of its service units as well as some of the important services of Auroville Community. This provided the most important physical place for existence of these activities detrimental to the growth of Auroville as a whole.
Fostering these activities have always been seen by the BHARAT NIVAS group as its dayitva, our commitment to the ideals of Auroville in the light of Indian ethos and Culture. Now that Auroville is growing and as the new infrastructure of buildings is available for more permanent spaces for these services and units, BHARAT NIVAS has some more breathing space as well as it readies itself to rejuvenate itself to play the role of Indian Pavilion as envisioned by the Mother .
Various units and services, which occupied much of the space in the campus of BHARAT NIVAS, have moved in the last year, 2003-2004. Since then, it has become possible for us to put these spaces to its intended use where all the activities of BHARAT NIVAS can be housed. These activities in the last year have grown much fuller as now it has more physical space for its manifestation.
As always BHARAT NIVAS is committed to play a role of catalyst in the life of Auroville Community, as part of the International Zone of Auroville, where the local, bioregional, national and the international dimension of its work will find its space.
Some of the most important community facilities and services still remain within the campus, such as AUROVILLE FOUNDATION , SAIIER, AUROVILLE ARCHIVES, POST OFFICE, SEWA, FREE STORE AND TAILORING SERVICE, LIBRARY, LABORATORY OF EVOLUTION, AUROVILLE MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY & MULTI PURPOSE HEALTH CENTRE . We reiterate our role to foster these activities and its physical existence till they all find their final locations and infrastructure in the Community of Auroville, in the next phase of growth of Auroville. This is in the Spirit of the Indian Pavilion and Cultural Ethos of the host country, we represent as part of the community.
THE LOCATION & ACTIVITIES OF VARIOUS UNITS OF BHARAT NIVAS: PAVILION OF INDIA
CENTRE OF INDIAN STUDIES
The space formerly used by the Auroville Town Planning Service, is now the Centre of Indian Studies, where the library that houses one of the most interesting collection of the books on Indian Philosophy, Culture and Arts. This is also the space where some of the workshops, talks by eminent speakers and regular Bharat Nivas Group meetings are held. This also provides a study area for researchers to work and also regular Sanskrit language classes are conducted for groups of Aurovilians.
CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN INDIAN CULTURE
The space has been rejuvenated and has been made more users friendly with physical infrastructure and equipment so that it can be used for more intense workshops that express the Spirit of India. This is also now available for very special exhibitions that carry a special meaning to the life of Auroville and its connection with the local, bioregional, national and international community.
TAMIL HERITAGE CENTRE
In the new setup of Bharat Nivas, Tamil Heritage Centre has found its footing in the life of Auroville. There is a space allocated for the expression of Tamil Culture especially through the programmes that link up the Auroville Community to the local and bioregional context of its existence. This is now housed in the basement of the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium where also the outside space under the big Peepal Tree provide a more natural atmosphere for the interactive meetings, programmes, etc. This also has in its vicinity the Gallery of the Foyer of the auditorium and Kala Kendra, where exhibitions can be held to express the essence of the Tamil Culture. Also the site for the new complex of Tamil Heritage Centre has been allocated near the Atithigriha, where invocation is done through regular programmes.
Atithigriha still remains the hub of the activities of Bharat Nivas by providing the much needed infrastructural support to its activities. It houses the guests from India and all over the world, as well as groups of students, artists and researchers, who visit Auroville and Bharat Nivas. It also provides an experience of hospitality to our eminent guests of the Auroville Foundation in its vicinity. This has also helped us to held larger events, such as Conferences, Celebrations of Festivals and many big cultural events at the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium.
SRI AUROBINDO WORLD CENTRE FOR HUMAN UNITY:
This space, built during Sri Aurobindo's 125 th Birth Anniversary, is dedicated to the Community of Auroville for its meetings, rehearsals, programmes, etc. As the main welcoming space at the entrance of the Bharat Nivas, it has been designed for and will house the future reception of The Pavilion of India.
SRI AUROBINDO AUDITORIUM
This large space remains the heart of all the Cultural events of Auroville till today and for future. As the space has been the venue of all the major events in Auroville's growth, be it cultural, philosophical or any other nature. A ventilating system is ready to operate as soon as the financial and other details, as well as necessary Government permissions are worked out with the community and other agencies. We are committed to its non commercial use and focus on the use of the space for more Research oriented Cultural programmes, continuing the tradition of Bharat Nivas.
KALA KENDRA : CENTRE FOR ARTS
The former restaurant building has been renovated internally and has become the Centre for Arts . This large space houses an exhibition space, Gallery Square Circle and studios for resident artists, where visiting artists can work and stay. There are spaces for art workshops for Auroville and visiting artists, which hopes to become the hub of activities to foster art and culture and a space where all artists can meet, interact and work together. Keeping in mind the original concept of the building and the reality of Auroville today, an open air café, Indus Valley : Thought Masala , has started functioning: here all Aurovilians can finally have a taste of home like Indian cuisine, and sit over a cup of tea or traditional south Indian coffee. This space under the trees hopes to become a vibrant interactive space where artists can meet the art enthusiasts in a more relaxed atmosphere and where new ideas take shape for the Community. The whole old complex of the restaurant building has now been opened up to interconnect, without any new construction, as the original concept and the Courtyard will be a spill over space between the annex and the main Kala Kendra . It also houses space for art classes and work area for painters, sculptors, ceramics, etc. Necessary services, which were non existent before such as access to the first floor terrace and wash rooms, are provided within, as also protection from extreme weather conditions. A part of Kala Kendra continues to foster and has improved the working conditions of the essential services of Auroville such as Free Store and the Tailoring Service, Auroville Museum of Archaeology , till these activities find their own space in Auroville. Buildaur , a unit of Auroville fund, providing architectural and construction services in the community and committed to the completion of Bharat Nivas, has its base in the office of Kala Kendra, as run by the member of Bharat Nivas and coordinator of Kala Kendra activities, Dharmesh.
This is a more concentrated complex of spaces that will host the senior researchers from the Indian Philosophical and Art world that are resource persons for the Indian Pavilion. Presently, there are two units existing in the vicinity of the Atithigriha.
PRESENT MEMBERS OF THE BHARAT NIVAS GROUP & THEIR AREA OF WORK:
ASHOKE CHATTERJEE : GOVERNMENT OF INDIA LIASION, ATITHIGRIHA, SAIIER
MEENAKSHI : TAMIL HERITAGE CENTRE, BIO REGIONAL ISSUES
ASTER PATEL : CENTRE OF INDIAN STUDIES, CENTRE OF INDIAN CULTURE
SANTOSH MALIK : SENIOR ADVISOR ON ALL ISSUES
TAPAS BHATT : SRI AUROBINDO AUDITORIUM, KALA KHOJ, CULTURAL EVENTS
ELUMALAI : BHARAT NIVAS MAINTENANCE, CAMPUS INCHARGE
DHARMESH JADEJA : KALA KENDRA, BHARAT NIVAS DEVELOPMENT & MAINTENANCE
VARADHARAJAN :TAMIL HERITAGE CENTRE, OUTREACH PROGRAMMES, BIOREGION & EDUCATION
SHYAMALA : TAMIL HERITAGE CENTRE, OUTREACH PROGRAMMES, BIOREGION & EDUCATION
KATHIRAVAN : SECRETARY TO BHARAT NIVAS GROUP
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