NEW MEMBERS SELECTED FOR AUROVILLE’S LAND BOARD
Auroville has recently selected three dynamic Aurovilians – Raja, Satyakam, and Venkat – to serve as new members on the Land Board, joining existing members Rajavelu and Renu and re-appointed members Helena and Padmanabhan.
We are happy to share this introduction to the three new members and we welcome them warmly! We wish all of the Land Board members the best as they take on their essential and difficult work on behalf of us all!
Raja Narayansamy was born in Utility and grew up in the bioregion villages of Auroville. He attended Auroville schools and for higher studies, pursued an Msc. in Electronic Media & Mass Communication at Pondicherry University. He has a diploma in Dance and Media from Bangalore, and studied martial arts and healing with masters in Auroville. He officially joined Auroville in 2009 and his varied work includes: managing the Repos Snack Bar where he served as an intermediary between Aurovilians and Fishermen; managing Kalakendra and co-managing an AV Guest House; teaching sports at Dehashakthi; serving as an Auroville Security and Safety guard and as part of the intervention group where he received police personnel, VIPs, and supported the Land Board; volunteering in the Auroville clean-up group and for natural calamities where he rescued – and is still rescuing – Auroville snakes!
Raja says: «I have strong communication skills, and my non-violent approach will certainly be of great use in tackling issues arising between Auroville and the local villages. I am young and energetic, pro-active and focused, and serious with tasks. I love working in a team and making it lively! My contribution will be my positive energy, my love and care, and overall, bringing joy to the work.»
Satyakam arrived at Mumbai by boat from Madagascar on 16th November 1973 with the intention to go to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, but the next day the media announced the departure of The Mother. He finally reached Pondicherry in November 1974 where was moved by The Mother’s vision for the City of Dawn and started to explore Auroville. Since then, he has been inhabited by Her invitation to all people of goodwill to participate in the incredible Adventure of building Her City. In France, he worked actively for decades helping to build Auroville International France, and finally came to Auroville to stay in 2010. He worked at the Housing Service for six years, and then become a project holder for the construction of Kalpana, with its 50 units, beauty, and sustainable architecture.
Satyakam says: «The task is immense in front of all of us, the land yet to acquire is immense and the cost is as well. Yet we keep the faith and determination to work on all fronts to buy, protect and consolidate the land of Auroville. I will do my best to bring goodwill, harmony, and the necessary improvements for the Land Board to perform in the best way possible.»
For Venkat, there is a 30-year bond between himself and Sri Aurobindo. He was born in Mayiladuthurai, 120 kms south of Auroville, and visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as a devotee starting in 1992. A qualified Chef, he holds a Catering Diploma from Chennai and then trained at Oberoi’s famed Trident Hotel. He ran his cafe-style restaurant in his home town before joining Auroville in 2000. After joining, he first worked in Savitri Bhavan as an editorial team member for the Tamil Edition of ‘Invocation’ (Prararthanai – பிரார்த்தனை). Then, in 2006, he moved to the organizational part of Auroville – first as the FAMC secretary, and then in 2008, he joined the then Economy group (BCC). A few months later, he was one of the 12 members who formed the Human Resources Team where he worked till its formal closure in 2020.
Venkat says: «Now I have been selected to serve on the Land Board, and I would say that my sole aspiration and action is for acquiring all the land for Auroville – primarily and especially for ‘The City’ that our sweet Mother dreamt about.»