Pour Tous Purchasing Service (PTPS)

Providing Essentials for All in Auroville

The Pour Tous Purchasing Service (PTPS), meaning "For All" in French, is a unique initiative in Auroville, India. Founded in 1972 with the blessings of Auroville's spiritual guide, the Mother, PTPS strives to fulfill a special economic vision for the community.

   "…a life of divine communism where there would be no buying and selling, no rich and poor, and all labour would be a sacrifice and a service to the Divine." 
Sri Aurobindo
Non-Monetary System

PTPS offers a selection of food and sundry items based on factors like demand, quality, affordability, and environmental impact. They also facilitate access to bread from Auroville bakery, as well as milk from local dairies.

Focus on Needs:

  • Meeting Essential Needs for All: PTPS's main commitment is to ensure that everyone in Auroville can access essential food and household items. This promotes a society where basic needs are not a privilege, but a right for all residents.
  • Promoting Social Equity Through Access: This approach delves deeper into the social impact of PTPS. It highlights how by guaranteeing access to essentials regardless of financial situation, PTPS fosters a more equitable society within Auroville.

Focus on Selection:

  • Curating Essentials with Sustainability in Mind: PTPS focuses on both affordability and sustainability when selecting products. It goes beyond simply offering the cheapest options and considers factors like quality, environmental impact, and supporting local producers.
  • Supporting Local Producers: A Sustainable Choice: PTPS prioritizes sourcing from local producers whenever possible. This strengthens the local economy, reduces Auroville's environmental footprint by minimizing transportation needs, and potentially promotes fresher, and higher-quality products.

Focus on Consumption Model:

  • A Non-Monetary System: Fostering Responsibility: The unique non-monetary system utilized by PTPS encourages responsible consumption by fostering a sense of community ownership and accountability.
  • Community Dialogue: Ensuring Fairness and Sustainability: The importance of open communication is valued within the PTPS model. It emphasizes how community dialogue plays a key role in ensuring fair access to resources and promotes sustainable consumption practices over time.
  • Present Executives: Joel & Kumaran 

Pour Tous outlet at Aspiration community
Pours Tous - For All                                       

A Pioneering Spirit: The Birth of Pour Tous in Auroville

This report delves into the fascinating story of Pour Tous (originally named "FOR ALL/POUR TOUS"), a revolutionary institution in Auroville. Inspired by Mother's vision and fueled by Clare Fanning's unwavering determination, Pour Tous emerged in March 1972 to address a critical need: a streamlined system for supplying Aurovilians with essential food items and other goods.

A Vision Takes Shape

Clare, a young Aurovilian, recognized the inefficiency of Aurovilians traveling long distances to procure supplies. Witnessing Mother's definition of money as the Divine's power misused by vital forces, Clare felt called to create a "proper channel" – a service that would meet Auroville's needs without internal monetary exchange.

Her proposal resonated deeply with Mother. With a joyous spirit, Mother exclaimed, "This is it! This is it!" and penned the now iconic name "FOR ALL/POUR TOUS." This marked the beginning of a remarkable journey.

From Humble Beginnings to a Flourishing Service

Driven by Clare's dedication, Pour Tous materialized. The first service, launched in February 1974, focused on food and basic supplies. Working in a spirit of "surrender," a small team provided exceptional customer service, creating a joyful atmosphere.

Since 2022 the present team at PTPS has achieved:

  • Lower Prices, Higher Standards: We have squeezed margins to offer the best quality at the best price for our community (except for unsustainable items).
  • Transparency & Sustainability: We are all about openness, responsible spending, and long-term thinking. Unsustainable items help subsidize local and sustainable options, and lower margins have funded store renovations!
  • Slashing Waste: We have cut down on lost, damaged, expired, and stolen items – from a staggering ₹575,000 in December 2022, to a much more manageable ₹50,000 now!
  • Empowering Women: Many of our ladies have been trained on computers and taken on leadership roles.
  • Local Love: We have expanded our selection of Auroville, bioregion, and local producer goods, offering more sustainable and healthy choices.
  • Smarter Shopping & Greener Operations: We have negotiated with suppliers and are working on a new software system to focus on sustainability. Solar panels are powering us, and we are replacing energy-guzzling appliances.

And there's more to come! We are planning -

  • A new online shopping platform with delivery through the Auroville Dropzy app.
  • Water catchment, aquaponics, and a free swimming pool (stay tuned for details)!
  • A brand new canteen and community plaza.
  • Stronger connections with our bioregion "cousin brothers & sisters."

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