Auroville is an experimental township located close to Pondicherry; a former French colony. Auroville dreams of being a universal town where men and women of all religions, creeds, and nationalities live together. The fundamental and sole purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.
This unique township is home to about 2,500 people from 49 countries recognised as the first international experiment for human unity, and consciousness, and sustainable living. Moreover, it also takes some real steps toward environmental preservation.
Let us know more about these worthy contributions!
Auroville’s Afforestation Campaign
Auroville began its environmental endeavours through its afforestation campaign in the early 1970’s. The first tree nurseries started with the help of grants from the Point Foundation, and foreign-based well-wishers. After this, the citizens of Auroville began with large-scale tree planting and in the next ten years, over a million trees were planted under soil and water conservation programme. The trees were mainly timber, ornamentals, fencing, fruit fodder trees, and nut trees, etc.
Some exotic plants like the Australian ‘Work Tree’ also found their way in the Auroville’s gardens. When the trees began to grow, micro-climate was formed, and it was noticed that various species of bird-life and animals returned back to the region. As a result of this, further dissemination of seeds and environmental enrichment took place.
In 1982, impressed by the success of their afforestation project, the Department of Environment, Government of India, offered Auroville 11 lacs rupees to plant trees and also scientifically monitor the results through appropriate techniques. With this began a new orientation for green workers in Auroville, and also it became evident that Auroville had something very important to offer the world outside its boundaries.
Work Outside Auroville’s Boundaries
The green workers in Auroville have been touring various areas in India to share their experiences and to initiate newer afforestation schemes. Some regions which they have visited are Karnataka, Chinglepet in Tamil Nadu and Palani Hills to reforest areas near Dindigul and Kodaikanal.
The Green Belt in Auroville
A major part of the afforested area is located in the green belt around the future city area, forming a buffer zone to protect Auroville from the intervention of the expanding suburbs in Pondicherry. This green belt is thinly inhabited, and mostly the caretakers of fully-grown forest stay in that area. The Forest Group holds meetings every month to share information and to make further plans regarding the allocation of funds for maintaining and expanding the afforestation work.
Nelda is inspired by such amazing efforts taken by the wonderful people of Auroville. We have also taken a mission of planting and maintaining trees in Pune and around the city. If you too wish to be a part of this mission, become a volunteer today!