Located adjacent to the Solar Kitchen, Pour Tous Distribution Centre – one of the “Prosperity Services” – acts as a distribution centre for a wide range of food items, ready-made meals to take away and other goods supplied in kind (without any direct exchange of money, based on a cooperative participation) to Aurovilians, Newcomers and volunteers.
General Information and Background
Opened in March 2006 the scheme is a step towards the economy Mother wished for Auroville. The ideal Auroville economic model, they said, is not to turn Auroville into a market economy and make a business of everything but one in which the material needs of all would be provided for without money circulation.
Members and Affiliations
PTDC is the internal distribution center for food and sundry items for Aurovilians and Newcomers who chose to join with a regular monthly contribution.
Aims and Objectives
Food and sundry items are obtained from the Pour Tous Distribution Centre. Products available have been selected based on criteria such as demand, quality, costs and environmental impact. Special items not in stock can be ordered. The scheme also includes bread from the Auroville bakery; milk from Auroville dairies; gas bottles; and lunches and dinners from select Auroville kitchens and restaurants. Participants are not billed, though individual consumption patterns are tracked. People are made aware if they regularly ‘over-consume' and a common understanding is then reached on how to solve the problem.
Many participants experience great joy in sharing and giving. Some make donations of home-made food or bring excess produce from their gardens. A common experience is that it no longer matters that there is only a limited choice of products. Participants often say that it feels quite liberating that one can obtain whatever is needed without having to worry about paying.
PTDC purchases whatever Auroville's farms supply, which includes jams and nut butters and also buys the reasonably priced products from Auroville's food-processing units. The income and expenditure of the scheme is in balance.