Last updated: 18 Jan, 2024

Auroville Dental Centre for Education Research and Rural Action (ADCERRA)  

Auroville Dental Centre Education Research Rural Action
The origins of the ADCERRA (Auroville Dental Centre Education Research Rural Action) project were inspired by two requirements. Firstly, there was the dire need for dental care among the rural population of India. The second motivation was that we wanted to put into action the revolutionary approach of "Concept Zero" into Health Care, and in particular into dental care. It offered the possibility of a much broader outreach with more affordable means in a larger setting.

‘India, with close to 70% of its 1.2 billion population living in rural areas, has a quasi—non—existent dental care service in these rural areas. Out of the 1,18,000 registered dentists in India today, only 2% of these professionals care for the majority of the rural population, or a ratio of 1 dentist for about 250,000 people. As a result, the vast majority suffers from tooth decay and gum diseases. It is estimated that only half of the population use a toothbrush, primarily due to lack of awareness. The majority of the rural population lives in over half a million villages, and with poor infrastructures and lack of access to transportation, few have access to oral health service’.

[ Information quoted above taken from Demographics of Dentistry in India, Indian Journal of Dental Sciences, June 2011, Issue:2, Vol.:3 ]

ADCERRA’s rural programme was designed to address the absence of dentists in these rural communities, focusing on education, prevention and basic care while prioritising children and educating them for long term impact!

Our objectives were simple: increase access to basic dental care with emphasis on preventive treatment using locally trained dental health workers. In addition, provide information and awareness about oral health with a systematic educational programme


We want the best teeth in our villages as an example for the rest of rural India where there are no dental facilities! 

What is essential is to continue to raise the level of health awareness and to combine prevention with curative treatment amongst the rural population, with their active participation, to achieve our goal of "Caries-free children" within 5 years.

Our model of work and organization in disadvantaged rural areas presently works well and can be duplicated in rural areas elsewhere in India, enabling a drastic reduction in health needs and costs.

How you can help (to complement our budget)

Your complementary contribution will help us to maintain our structure till a full autonomy after 5 years with less need of advanced treatments among the 25,000 surrounding poor people (with an equivalent average income of less than 1 US$ per day). 

Indian donors can claim 50% tax exemption under section 80 G of Income Tax Act for any donation to Dental Centre or its projects under Auroville Foundation. The cheque can be made in the name of Auroville Unity Fund specifying the Project. 

Other countries : please check the possibilities for tax deductions. 


Auroville Dental Centre 

Auroville - 605 101, 

Tamil Nadu, INDIA 

Timings: Mon-Sat 9am-1pm 

Phone: (0413) 2622008  

A full detailed project report will be sent to you on request. Meanwhile you are welcome to visit us.

Thanking you very heartily for your support and participation to this unique experience within the emerging universal township!

Project holders

The Executives of the Auroville Dental Centre and project holders of this rural dental programme are: 

  • Dr. Jacques Verré , a voluntary French Dental Surgeon living in Auroville since 1981. 
  • Ms. H.Suryagandhi , a voluntary Indian Multipurpose Health Nurse living in Auroville since 1986.

They work along with 2 Dental Surgeons, 2 assistants and 12 local village women trained as Dental Health Workers.

Voluntary Dental Surgeons participating regularly at our programme: