News & Notes 663:Auroville Board of Services Annual Gathering – August 24th 2016

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663 icon.jpg   News & Notes 663
3 September 2016

Auroville Board of Services Annual Gathering – August 24th 2016

Alan, Amy, Anandi, Annemarie, Christopher, Christophe, Isha, Jinhee, Jocelyn B., Kali B., Kanniapan, Kavitha, Kowsalya, Manfred, Manohar, Nikki, Palani K., Peter CS, Phil, Raju, Riccardo, Rita, Ulrich (regrets: Nicole, Sabine, Toby)

We began with a moment of Silent Concentration....

Auroville Board of Services (ABS) - our aim is: To promote Auroville's In-Kind Economy and the principle of No-Cash Exchange, through support for providing goods & services collectively and in-kind.

Anandi & Isha are coordinators; the Support Team has 10 members, with another 10 on the Advisory Team.

ABS works with Auroville Service Trust, BCC & FAMC, on behalf of Prosperity, Municipal, Administrative, Education & Culture, and Outreach Services. Yearly we organize this information sharing between the services.

Information & Updates

AV Safety & Security Service (Peter) – They are a new team caring for safety, coordinating with paid guards & the police. There are plans for street lights, CCTV, integrating AV volunteers. A big issue is units allowing cash payments – especially eateries – attracting outside visitors & cross-traffic. We need a mobility & access strategy, with checkpoints. And sales points & parking facilities (like at Visitors Center) at places on AV's periphery.

Santé (Jocelyn) – Open since 1 year, 10,000 patients have been treated: tests, injuries, minor operations. They don't plan a pharmacy in the near future, but Health Fund bills can be brought to Sante now. Their BCC budget covers running & 11 maintenances, while fundraising is on-going. 2 crores so far have come from AV donors.

AV Health Services (Manfred) – For 20 years, providing hygiene inspection to 40 units & training for new unit staff. Their Senior Care program covers homecare needs, share taxis & a shopping trip on Thursdays. The new assisted living project begins with housing for 8 people. AV's population has 444 seniors over 65 years and 80 seniors over the age of 75.

AV Bus Service (Raju) – The bus began in the off-season, some timing will change soon; it is covering costs so far. From September people will need to reserve seats. When there's not enough space they may rent a 2nd van for the busy season (about 4 months), more financially sound than owning 2 vehicles. Timing on the Auronet.

Cycle Kiosk (Chris) – For 4 years promoting the use of bicycles, can repair all kinds of cycles now, it is almost self-supporting. Collaborates with cycles available for non-Aurovilians at VC - maybe that can be expanded.

Eco Service (Kali & Palani) – Not a dump (!) there are 70 separation categories & recycling is maximized. Still, 27% goes into landfills. Waste collected from 300 places, most of all we must change our consumption habits, also working with our food outlets. More budget from BCC can mean more educational work with schools, etc…

Youth Link (Kavitha & Riccardo) – Providing information to youth on opportunities, jobs, housing, internships, volunteering. The NextGen outreach project plans community exchange programs between Auroville & abroad.

Q & A / Open Discussion

  • Budgets provide funds for running costs, not to develop our collective services.
  • There are workshops & seminars about the 'Auroville Economy', though usually these become focused on topics of 'finance' – finance is a part of the much larger topic of 'economy'. Economy is more than finance.
  • The Auronet Pulse question asks about the 'increasing dominance of money in AV'. 67% agree this is a problem, and want to see this trend reversed.
  • Human nature is an issue here (and everywhere) – are we progressing & manifesting the ideals? Need to create an environment to increase consciousness.
  • The '33% of profit contribution' is vague and outdated, AV economy is about 'sharing' not individual 'survival'.

We closed with a moment of Silence, with thanks to Alan for facilitating the exchanges & to everyone who could come, many of us working in more than one – and even many – Auroville Service(s).