The objectives of our Accessible Auroville project are, firstly, to raise and develop awareness of the concept and issues of accessibility in Auroville and, secondly, to be instrumental in bringing about the necessary changes in the layout, construction and facilities of our built environments that will make them accessible to all.
Our ultimate aim is for the issue of Accessibility to become so much a part of everyone’s thinking and awareness that the day will come that the features that make up accessibility will no longer be viewed as separate of special, but just a part of mainstream practice, like road safety or personal hygiene now. At that point, we will be delighted to archive this site and walk into the sunset.
Seeing things from the point of view of making them as accessible as possible to all is an often neglected but very exciting area of life. There is enormous potential for improvement of our constructed environments that will, directly or indirectly, benefit us all. We invite you to use all imagination, your intelligence and all your senses yourself with the ideas and concepts of Accessibility, then look around you and see what changes, small and great, could be made to make wherever you are safer and more accessible for all.
The issues of Accessibility touch all our lives, no matter which category we fall into. We need to make ourselves aware of the needs of:
- People of all ages
- Disability or impairment
- Women pregnant or nursing babies
- Parents of young children
- Carriers of heavy or bulky loads
- Those with impairment or difficulty in vision, hearing, mobility, learning, speaking, etc..
- Everyone else
What do we want?
We are working for Auroville, and any other place we can influence, to be as sensitively-designed and inclusive a human environment as possible, free of those unnecessary barriers that make life difficult for some among us. In other words we want a place where, within reason, all can access areas and facilities equally, and take full advantage of opportunities for work, education, leisure, and so on, with the minimum of difficulty, need to ask for help, or embarrassment. We are speaking here of creating an environment where everyone will be treated thoughtfully, in a way that respects and upholds their dignity.
As well as raising general awareness in Auroville about the urgent need to improve Accessibility, especially at this time of new development, we would like to encourage every architect, civil engineer, urban planner, public transport planner, educator and person working with people with functional or sensory impairment, to integrate Accessibility-thinking into all they teach, design or do. We are aware people already know these things, but we hope with gentle encouragement and closer awareness and scrutiny of what they do, they will become even more active in raising the accessibility standards they already have.
Phone : 0413-2623274
Mobile : +91-93454-00559
Contact Person: Susmita
We are planning to buy a second accessible public bus. If you wish to support us please use the donation option below. Please inform us if there is a donation. Please inform us when you make a donation.
“Let’s Play With the Diversities”
The aim of that special and unique event was to create more empathy towards so-called “Diversities”.
We started at 9 am from Solar Kitchen. The children from Auroville schools were very excited... It was a new experience for everybody: walking up to Town Hall sitting on wheelchairs! When they were asked to go to La Terrace to have a coffee or to go to the toilette, they immediately became aware of the architectonic barriers which prevented them to do both of the tasks.
Then “the Walk” started: some were sitting, others were pushing, others tried to move the wheelchairs on their own as they wanted to get a better feeling how to go around in that condition. They took turns in sitting and pushing..
Once they reached Matrimandir, the children went to the accessible toilette ..how to move from a wheelchair to the toilette without falling down…They found it not so easy at all.. ..
Their walk went on…finally they reached the Town Hall..
At 10,30 the Puducherry Governor L.T Dr Kiran Bedi arrived to inaugurate the Photos exhibition about ”Accessibility and Architectonic Barriers” at the Town Hall entrance. After cutting the ribbon, It was a very relevant moment to accompany
Her around the exhibition. She was impressed by the arrangement and by the sentences here and there reminding the aim of creating accessibility to all and the suggestions given in order to achieve it. While She was observing a photo taken in Puducherry showing architectonics barriers, She mentioned the importance to understand the others needs and to respect the environment around us.. After a while, She left thanking everybody …
Around 11 am a play started. It was directed by Yatra with the participation of some Aurovilians too. It was a unique and special performance indeed! It was the story of Krishna who was always complaining about his life. His counsellor Rosy, very tired of listening to his complains, took him to a special place: a restaurant run by differently able staff: the owner was a wheelchair user and the waiters and waitresses were blind. The customers were invited to get a blindfold to eat in the dark. The play turned out to be very funny as the customers were not used to eat without seeing anything. Krishna fell down as he did not find the chair, then he poured water on the table, the food fell on his paints...So it happened to Rosy and to other customers too. Krishna was so impressed by the ease of happily working the way of the staff that he did not dare to complain about his life anymore. It was an eye-opener experience which he will never forget. The play was concluded by a dance performed by three “blind” dancers.
The audience enjoyed the play very much..
The event on 1st March was a real particular moment for the participants. They will keep a memory of “ Let’s Play With the Diversities” in their hearts and minds forever.
We warmly thank Rena, Swar, Veronique J.,Veronese, Azhagappam Mani and Debu to have acted in the play with Yatra team.
With Gratitude and love,
Susmita and Piero Cefaloni
Beyond the Step!
“Accessible Auroville” Meeting with Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi
Stop press 14-1-2016