Ilaignarkal Education Centre

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Ilaignarkal 2017 - Republic Day gathering.jpg

Ilaignarkal has an anytime school for Auroville workers of all ages and their wards, providing further learning programmes and courses in essential life skills. It also conducts regular workshops on personality development and leadership training for young people, both men and women.

Ilaignarkal has been in operation since 1977 in the field of educational and vocational training.

Approach, Methods and Curricula

From its inception, Ilaignarkal has been helping village workers and their children around Auroville to learn and enhance their basic skills and knowledge base. The school has been reaching out to the most difficult cases in society, such as school drop-outs, slow learners and illiterate village workers who are forced to go out and earn early in life due to economic pressures during childhood. The school has already touched the lives of more than 6,000 students since its inception, by giving an appropriate space to improve basic skills in language, math and the arts, plus gaining simple skills like typewriting, computer know-how, tailoring, gardening etc, leading to a qualitative improvement in their lives.

The school has a free-progress customized style of education designed to fit the special requirements of its students. With only two full time staff, most of the teachers and office staff are voluntary workers from neighbouring schools, ex-students, visiting lecturers and other specialists in their field and profession.

The present school building consists of three class rooms, one library and an office room plus two open halls with kitchen and dining area, open-air centre square, shower and toilets, dormitories to temporarily shelter trainees and staff. The school has a good protected water supply, a kitchen garden, waste water recycling plant, rain water harvesting system and a small multipurpose open play ground for outdoor games and large gatherings. One spacious room has been allocated to house SEWA (Small Employer Welfare Association) to bridge employer – employee relationship that is very close to the objectives of Ilaignarkal Education Centre from the beginning. All the rest of the activities, such as mass classes, are held outside in the open areas, usually under trees.

Ilaignarkal hosts an annual Children’s Book Fair, Tamil literary workshops, teachers training programmes, youth and children exchange projects and other cultural activities.

Aspirants to Auroville and new Aurovilians join the special classes on Sri Aurobindo, The Mother and The Ideal of Human Unity. Certain interest groups attend personality development courses conducted annually three to four times i.e. for taxi drivers, household workers and teachers.

Ilaignarkal has started a mobile (bi-cycle) library for the benefit of Auroville workers and their children living in remote areas. It’s called BHARATHI Mobile Library with a wing of Readers Forum in hamlets, at the close proximity of Auroville city, taking advantage of existing Youth groups and night schools supported by SAIIER.


The target population being reached is living in circumstances of illiteracy and earning capacity of only INR 2,000 to 3,000 per month. Most of the workers who have benefited from the school’s day and evening programmes are wage labourers, women workers, school dropouts among the youth, and difficult children for the day school, and staff of various units of Auroville who aspire for further learning and sharing their experiences.


Ilaignarkal has published more that 10 booklets on various cultural and heritage topics. These include:

In 2013 Ilaignarkal brought out a special issue on Perumukkal petroglyphs, rock drawings from the ancient civilization of the Perumukkal hillock, 20km from Auroville.

Articles about Ilaignarkal Education CentreYear
SAIIER 2021:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2021
SAIIER 2020:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2020
SAIIER 2019:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2019
SAIIER 2018:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2018
SAIIER 2017:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2017
SAIIER 2016:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2016
SAIIER Annual Report 2014-2015: Ilaignarkal Education Centre2015
SAIIER 2013:Ilaignarkal Education Centre2013
SAIIER Annual Report 2011-20122012
SAIIER 1985:Ilaignarkal1985
Education 1984:Ilaignarkal1984
Summary 1983:Ilaignarkal Evening School1983


  • Phone: 0413-262-3773
  • E-mail: tamil (at)

See also

Ilaignarkal 2021 3 - Kolam sacred floor drawing workshop.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2021 4 - Yoga and healing session.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2021 1 - Bharati Educare beneficiaries meeting.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2021 2 - Kindergarten visit to Kolu festival Navarathri doll show.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2020 1 - Auroville Childrens Book Fair.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2020 2 - Group reading at the Book Fair.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2020 3 - Festival of Evolution doll show.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2019 - Gandhi 150 exhibition.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2019 - Best Youth Award 2018.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2019 - International Day of Yoga.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2019 - Independence Day.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2018 - Yoga day June 21.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2018 - Summer camp finale gathering.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2018 - Yatra short stories book launch.JPG, Ilaignarkal 2017 - Republic Day gathering.jpg, Ilaignarkal 2017 - Kolu celebration (Festival of Evolution).jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Summer camp.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Pongal bazaar.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Teachers educational tour.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Best Youth award.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Childrens writing workshop.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Festival of Evolution.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Heritage festival 1.jpg, 2016 Ilaignarkal - Heritage festival 2.jpg, 2013 Ilaignarkal - workshop.png, 2013 Ilaignarkal - solar panels.jpg, 2013 Ilaignarkal 4.jpg, 2013 Ilaignarkal - book fair arch.jpg, 2013 Ilaignarkal - book fair children.jpg