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Villages around Auroville

Auroville Village Action Group

Summer Camp –
Fisher Kids and Farmer Kids Playing Together

 

Tsunami has been recognised by Aurovilians as a wake-up call to focus lots of high quality attention on our relation with our village neighbours. This has not been unique to Auroville, we read these sentiments again and again in the international press – people realise that the wave of compassion and giving which followed the tsunami wave was only indicative of what should be a normal human relationship to the suffering in the world.

 

One of the ways in which we in Auroville have been dealing with this challenge is emphasise the issues of integration in regard to the tsunami rehabilitation work. We build in opportunities for the formerly very isolated fisher communities to mingle with the other villages of the area. And where better to start than with the children?

Every year Village Action holds a summer camp: a series of 2-day camps. At each camp, 40-60 children come having chosen a particular focus according to their likes: dancing, singing, drama, sports, painting, handicraft, etc. This year, because the “PEP” programme of sending animators to the local schools has been a hold due to the staff problems, we were wondering how to proceed. We hoped to involve more Aurovilians, as well as the women's club members. To our surprise and delight, it was the school headmasters, especially those from the fisher communities, who took great interest and much responsibility, and together with the women, provided a truly wonderful vacation for the youngsters who came from both fisher and inland communities.

 

In addition to taking a little trip around Auroville, and spending the night at Village Action, the children learned something special at each camp. During the first series of camps, Upasana and Shraddhanjali, Auroville handicraft units, sent trainers to teach doll making and bag making. As village children have often never held a needle, just like the tsunami women, Upasana trainers (the designers of “Tsunamika”) applied their techniques of introducing and making fun the learning of these skills to make simple toys. In the second series a well-known dramatist from Pondicherry University came and helped the kids to portray their lives in improvised skits. It was poignant to think, as they performed their almost sentimental portrayals of the joys and beauty of the village pond or secret picnics, that many of the games and places would soon disappear with modernisation.

Pictures are worth a thousand words: so visit the photo album and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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