How to reduce risk of theft: You can reduce the risk of theft if you follow these simple rules:
- avoid signs of wealth: do not wear jewelry, hang cameras around your neck, or leave laptops, tablets, and phones in view;
- take care with bike baskets; you raise the risk of theft if you carry bags on the back or front baskets of cycles or motorbikes; zip up all pockets on your bag. Close all fasteners.
Take extra care on Sunday: Sunday, the day-off for city-folks and sometimes 2 or three young men may pile on a motorbike, for tourist-sport in Auroville, so prefer a quiet day at home on Sunday; also avoid travel alone on Saturday night.
- Do not pick up hitchhikers; do not offer rides to men you don't know; for example, some attacks follow a fake wave-down 'request for help; or a faked road-side injury, so a woman alone - of any age - should not stop if a person waves her down for help on the road; as other people may hide at the road-side; some attacks followed that call for help pattern;
- don't invite unknown persons into the place where you live; for example, taxi drivers, delivery-people and strangers with unusual charm.
- always carry a torch: A head-torch may prove useful or add a LED torch to your key-ring. Night falls quickly in Auroville; 6:30 to 7:00 pm, dependent on the season;
- do not travel alone at night; go in groups or ask someone to escort you, in particular, on back roads between Fertile and Utility, and the tar road from Kuilapalayam to Edayanchavadi;
- to drive a vehicle, you need an International Driving Permit: this applies to two-wheelers and all other vehicles;
- keep valuables in guest house safes at all times; otherwise documents, devices, and cash may disappear; lock your suitcase and bring a number-lock to lock cupboards;
- if you buy alcohol in Pondy and bring it back to Auroville local Police inside and outside Auroville may stop you, as on that journey, you cross the border from an alcohol-permitted State, over into Tamil Nadu, a dry State.
Cultural clues: polite behaviour, modest clothes reduce risk:
On the beach: Men and women must show no show physical affection in public places; especially the the beach;
Out for a swim: Women and girls need full piece bathing suits, and a cloth to cover the body; On some beaches and pools, it maybe best to go into the water with the cloth on; use judgment. A sunbath may attract the attention of local men who consider your action an invitation, to avoid risk, cover your body, and don't lie on the beach alone, to sub-bathe.
Dress by local standards, both men and women: Near villages, wear modest clothes; long pants or long shorts and tops with sleeves; no short- shorts, bathing costumes, or halter-tops. Men must wear a shirt in public places.
Report theft or problems to your guesthouse manager: when you report events, you help Auroville record a pattern of behavior, and map risks.
Security and ambulance emergency contact numbers
Health Center – 0413 2622123
Santé – 0413 2622803 / 0413 2623937