The ACRES FOR AUROVILLE Land Campaign
Now Starting Year 9 of Our Dynamic Unity Action!
Auroville urgently needs to complete and consolidate its designated Master Plan area
and donations are the ONLY funding source for land purchase !
On August 15th 2014, Auroville’s land fundraising gained new dynamism with the creation of the Acres for Auroville campaign to create greater awareness of the land purchase and fundraising need. A4A is a collaboration between Lands for Auroville Unified (LFAU) and the worldwide centers of Auroville International.
This energy action is co-led by long-time fundraiser Aryadeep of LFAU, Mandakini LB in France who represents the AVIs, and Jothi, LFAU’s secretary. Aurovilian Sigrid worked as part of the initial A4A team for several years. Since the start, we have all worked non-stop to give Auroville’s Land Board vitally needed funds to buy the still-missing plots of the designated Master Plan area.
Today, the Acres for Auroville land campaign begins its 9th year and we are happy to share our results, photos of some of the new land, how we work, and the collaboration behind our successes.
As a result of the dynamism and solidarity that A4A has created, Auroville has been able to add 83 new plots (83 new acres) to its physical base – and with more in the pipeline!
We warmly thank all the landowners and land-owning families
who have chosen to sell their land to Auroville
Despite better price offers from other potential buyers, several landowners made the choice to sell their land to Auroville. Some said they had met The Mother and it was a form of gratitude and remembrance. Others chose Auroville because their children had attended AV schools. And others said they believe in the Auroville project as a positive force for the area and for the world. We are encouraged by these acts of solidarity for building a beautiful collective vision !
A4A has encouraged hundreds of friends to become new land donors, adding their generosity
to the support of loyal long-time contributors to LFAU.
Contributions have come from a wide range of supporters of the City of Dawn vision: the AVI Centers and their contacts, Aurovilians who donate monthly, Sri Aurobindo Ashram sadhaks (Puducherry and New Delhi), former SAICE students via the Golden Chain Fellowship, and organizers of special AV and AVI support actions.
Particularly moving support has come via the legacy donations transmitted from the estates of deceased Aurovilians and AVI friends.
THE DESIGNATED MASTER PLAN AREA AND ITS NEEDS
– The City area needs a consolidated central hub with integrated and contiguous infra-structure, sufficient adequate housing, and space for the buildings required now and in the future to house the many services, schools, cultural facilities, health structures and sports activities of the Township.
– The Greenbelt, a green buffer surrounding the City, requires land for Auroville’s agricultural and water resource needs, for re-forestation and re-building the original indigenous eco-system of the area, and to continue to enable Auroville’s longstanding, recognized bio-regional work in ecology.
All the new plots purchased with land donations are used for these vital Township needs !
In the City Area:
New land was purchased at the edge of the International Zone, and two plots of new land joined Auroville next to Solar Kitchen.
Plots were purchased just near the Matrimandir’s outer gardens, consolidating an important part of Mahalakshmi Park, creating a direct pathway to Matrimandir from the Surrender-Grace-Arka area.
New City land became the site of an innovative solution for the Residential Zone’s water and sewage treatment needs, now serving eight communities and 450 inhabitants along the Vikas radial.
New City land near Reve led to the creation of the Kriya youth community which provides housing for Newcomer and Aurovilian singles and families, aged 20-35 working full-time for Auroville …
REVE LAND BEFORE :
NOW AS THE KRIYA YOUTH COMMUNITY:
These purchases have all made a considerable difference for the needs and functioning of the City area. However, while consolidating the City is an urgent and pressing priority, most land opportunities today – and the majority of newly-purchased plots – are situated in the Greenbelt.
In the Greenbelt :
In alphabetical order, plots were purchased with donor funds in or near these communities:
AuroOrchard, Fertile Windmill, Infinity, Irumbai Lake, Kalpavruksha Farm, Meadow, Miracle, Newlands, the NFA (Northern Forests of Auroville), Sharanga, Siddhartha Farm, Two Banyans, Udavi School, and the Visitors Center. As we reported in our April newsletter, the three most recent plots joined Auroville in Spring 2022 near the communities of Pitchandikulam and Freedom.
Here are just two views of new plots for Auroville’s agriculture …
This new plot provides vital water resources …
and this one, essential access to a major road leading to the heart of the City area …
Newly-purchased land has created wildlife corridors for traditional fauna and re-afforestation. Auroville greenworkers continue to plant thousands of trees a year, adding to the millions planted by Aurovilians over the decades.
Every new tree adds to water retention and conservation, thus feeding the water-table and aquifers – an essential need.
We salute the work of all the City & Greenbelt land stewards and the Land Board workers (in orange below) who give their energy to developing and maintaining these vital areas!
A4A’S WORK AND OUR COLLABORATORS
Your land donations are precious to Acres for Auroville.
All donations are used for their intended purpose – land purchase for Auroville’s Master Plan.
In collaboration with the Unity Fund team, every donation is carefully recorded in our detailed monthly accounting report which is sent to the AVI Board and the Land Board. A confidential donor page lets donors track their donation history on our website https://land.auroville.org/
A4A has created a specific system for rapid responses to your contributions. We thank Aurovilian Emanuele for creating our artistic Certificate of Appreciation for our donors, and our gratitude goes to all those Aurovilians and friends who have donated gifts for us to send as thank-you’s for your contributions such as “Presence” by Jothi Khare, “The Teaching of Flowers: The Life & Work of The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram” by Loretta, “The Glory of Darshan” by Narendra Thakkar, “Matrimandir and the Park of Unity” by Ireno, “Evolution Fast Forward” by Manoj & team, and several others.
Our dedicated website is a rich compendium on Auroville, its land, and A4A and other Auroville news. We thank Sam, Sathish and his team, Slava, Joël, Chloé and everyone else who contributed their energy for its enrichment! The site hosts our land fundraising films in several languages created by Rakhal-AuroImage with A4A, notably “Landing Auroville” and “The Mother, an Artist”.
Our quarterly newsletters are sent at Darshan times to over 2000 friends and are posted on our website and on our A4A and LFAU Facebook pages and shared by News & Notes, Tamil News, and Les Nouvelles d’Auroville, as well as by several AVI centers,. The A4A flier and LFAU letter are translated into French and Tamil and into German by AVI Germany.
Our newsletter articles share land purchase news, inspiring reports on Auroville’s early pioneers and new-joiners and the actions created by Aurovilians and AVIers to raise funds for the land. https://land.auroville.org/news/
Among the fundraising solidarity actions we have shared in our newsletters are the creative productions of Aurovilians and former Aurovilians to support A4A: “Auroville 80 – The Poetry of Daily Life” by Nadia Loury, “Fifty Poems from Auroville” and “50 More Poems from Auroville” by Vikas Vickers, “Reflections upon Psycho-Spiritual Obstacles on the Journey to the Divine – an Insider’s View” by Joseph Vrinte, “Matrimandir – the Privilege” by Anandi, and most recently, “The Garden of the Unexpected Cards and Stickers” by Mona and the Studio Naqshbandi team. The proceeds of all of these works go to A4A for land purchase.
We grateful, too, for the solidarity of Auroville units which have held special events to support A4A. Inspiring examples are the Joy Healing Festival where all the healers donated the contributions they received for their work to A4A, Upasana’s special sales, the 50th candles created by Maroma, and proceeds from the Auroville Marathon Market by Market booth participants.
Another element of our outreach is our annual New Year’s card, now an Auroville tradition for the past seven years. It is sent to all our donors, and prominently placed on desks in Town Hall offices and Auroville units. This beautiful yearly creation is thanks to the skill and artistic vision of Aravinda & Jasmin, with photos each year by different Auroville’s photographers : Piero Cefaloni and Lalit this year, and in previous years, Giorgio, Om & Julie, Marco Saroldi, Lisbeth and Emanuele – all of whom we warmly thank.
TTHE “ART FOR LAND” EXHIBITION AND LAND FUNDRAISER
Significant annual support for the land comes from the ART FOR LAND Exhibition and Land Fundraiser, a collaboration of Acres for Auroville, the Auroville Art Service with Krishna, and the Unity Pavilion-Art for Land team led by Jaya – whose beautiful results this year have been achieved by the dedication and hard work of Sudha, Bharathi, Arun, Kasthuri, Jagan, Chitra, and Purani.
This year, once again, the walls, halls and tables of the Unity Pavilion are filled and covered with beautiful artistic creations in all media. The AFL 2022 Exhibition runs from August 7th to September 4th (as also reported in the “Art for Land” article in this newsletter).
All of the works have been generously donated by Auroville artists and friend artists from India, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and the AVI centers from around the world.
The associated AFL events include concerts, dance performances, inspiring talks and films, artistic activities, and annual favorites: the Generosity Fair and Afternoon Tea, and the Bicycle Raffle.
All the Exhibiton’s artworks can be seen and purchased at the Unity Pavilion, or via the online gallery at the Art for Land website which provides purchase and donation information, and the calendar of AFL events artforland.in
The flower The Mother named “Collaboration”
WHY WE DONATE
Today, 11% of the City Area and 68% of the Greenbelt are still missing …
On our website’s “Why I Donate” page some of A4A’s donors have shared their motivations for sending land donations, big or small, at Darshan times, or when they feel moved to join our action :
- “Being aware of the once barren land, which was already turned into lush green all around, I was filled with a deep gratitude for the work of the early pioneers, for their incredible efforts in preparing the land for the realization of the Mother’s Dream. I am so grateful to the team of A4A for their untiring energies which they put into securing the land for Auroville’s further unfolding and I am happy to support their work by all possible means.”
- “Donations to the land are so important to me because to me land is the physical foundation of the Spirit of Auroville and it has to preserve its unity in totality according to The Mother’s vision of the Auroville. To me, the land has to be secured immediately and by any means possible. My first visit to Pondicherry was in 1978, and I had an opportunity then to visit Auroville briefly. Now I can see Auroville has grown to be a very beautiful city.”
- “The Mother had said in 1968 that the earth of Auroville aspires, and the first time that I visited India in 1969-70, I felt this very concretely and was much happy to even just cycle on Auroville’s barren land – I felt a joy that I could not explain. Already, Auroville, as it is presently, has much impact. This influence will increase exponentially and proportionally with the growth of Auroville. And the full impact will reach its climax with the completion of Auroville.”
- “I feel that when Auroville has all the Land, Auroville will be strong and protected. I discovered Auroville via Sri Aurobindo in 1974. My reaction was ‘That’s it – the way is open !’ So for me when we give, the World lights up, like the Sun, so that we can see one another!”
- “This one line from The Mother made me think, if any difference has to be made, it is by donating to the land purchase: ‘The Lands for Auroville are to be brought and can be bought. The Money is needed, will you help.’ Hence we started donations to help acquire land for Auroville.’ “
Join A4A’s Year 9 to raise the funds for consolidating Auroville’s material body!
Donations of all amounts are equally appreciated!
We sincerely thank you for your collaboration, solidarity, and generosity!!