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Auroville in the Press

The HINDU, Sunday 2nd January

A helping hand from Auroville


By Deepa H. Ramakrishanan
Photo: T. Singaravelou


A WALK through the streets of Kanagachettikulam in Pondicherry belies the damage witnessed in the village last Sunday, thanks to the efforts of some Aurovillians. "They worked magic on our streets," remarked a villager, who saw the tireless work of some 'vellakaranga' ( skinned people) among the Aurovillians.
They picked up heaps of rubbish and carried it on to the beach, where it was set alight in a bonfire. Several of them wore gloves, dumping keeth (dislodged thatches), broken ropes, torn nets and paper into the burning pile.
The Auroville residents accomplished the task in hours, which even the villagers had been unable to carry out for last one week. " We are not just cleaning up this place, but 11 other villages identified for this purpose. We are going about this job in stages and the Uzhavarkarai Municipality has also been lending us men and vehicles to remove the debris," said Boominathan, who led the 75- member team. They will be cleaning Mudaliarchavady on Sunday. If need be they will be in all the villages they have covered to clean up what was left unfinished in the first round. "are also carry- ing out rehabilitation work. We provided shelter, food and clothing to almost 1,500 affected people for nearly a week. They have now gone back to their nativeplaces.We have now opened an office under Auroville Village Action Group for extending our activities," he said. In the 11 villages, 550 houses had been damaged and several families displaced. Due to the consequent unemployment problem, a lot of rehabilitation work needs to be done," said another member, Hemant Lamba.


For further information, contact: tsunami@auroville.org.in