News & Notes 659:Report of the Working Committee for June and July 2016

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659 icon.jpg   News & Notes 659
6 August 2016

Report of the Working Committee for June and July 2016

The Working Committee wanted to publish its monthly report for June 2016, but since the majority of the members were TOS, and the remaining few were overloaded with work, we couldn’t prepare the report and took the liberty to prepare a two-month report instead. We still intend to resume our monthly reports, and apologise for not being able to do so this time.

Please do note that our General Meeting with the community is scheduled on Tuesday, 9th August, at 4:30pm, at the Unity Pavilion. We hope to see you there.

Updates on ongoing and new topics

  1. GB / IAC meeting: The next meeting of the Governing Board and International Advisory Council of the Auroville Foundation is scheduled for September 8th – 10th. During our upcoming General Meeting we will be able to report to you on the proposed agenda.
  2. Selection Process: Two members of the Working Committee, Mandakini and Elisa, have offered to step down and the selection process is to choose replacements. Please note that the members who step down are eligible to be re-selected for the Working Committee or be nominated for the other two groups, namely, the AV Council or the FAMC. We request the community to be fully involved in the process to ensure best outcomes.
  3. Blue Office - A new Support Desk for the Reception of VIPs: The Auroville Foundation and the Working Committee frequently receive VIPs in Auroville. Very often this means accompanying them to the Inner Chamber for meditation, with the help of the MM Access Team, and after, taking them around to various Auroville services, units, schools, research institutes, farms, forests etc. whenever they have shown curiosity and goodwill in learning more about Auroville. Often we have needed help and have requested Aurovilians, on an ad-hoc basis, to extend their time and energy to take these guests around. We realised that this has become a time consuming activity which will best need a few more members on-board specifically dedicated to this task. // For this purpose, we have, along with the collaboration of the Foundation Office, created a new support desk called the Blue Office. Currently Eric (Courage) and Bunty (Auromodel) have been appointed to support us in this task.
  4. Matrimandir Executives: We have contacted the executives in order to proceed with the resigning, re-appointment and / or replacement of the executives. We will keep the community informed and involved.
  5. Supporting the Entry Service: Together with the AV Council and the Entry Service, we have done exercises on improving communication bearing in mind three key components: truth, accuracy and compassion. We are now articulating on paper reasonable grounds for rescission and guidelines for receiving and sharing feedback so that the mentors may profit by the same. Once completed, we will share these with the community. With regards to the appeal against some of the past applicants, we are still working on it and have not come to a conclusion yet.
  6. Maintenance of street lights and CCTV cameras: We would like to inform the community that the GOI grants cannot be used for the maintenance of existing street lights and or CCTV cameras. The relevant working groups will be asked to devise a solution to maintain these equipments.
  7. Kottakarai issue: We have been in discussion on how to move forward with the current difficulties with Kottakarai while impressing on the need to fortify the relationship between Auroville and its bioregion through collaboration and co-development in the future. We have organised a half day session on 6th August, with relevant working groups in order to move further in this direction. In our upcoming GM on the 9th, we will update you on developments and seek your inputs.
  8. Auroville Mental Health Policy: The work of drafting this policy is on-going. There is a growing need for Auroville to address the requirements of those who wish to be supported or hand-held towards regaining their mental and emotional strength. The goal is to be able to provide a physical space with supporting competencies and programmes as well. We are changing the title of this topic to Mental and Emotional Health Care.
  9. Delay in submitting Balance Sheets for the year 2015 – 16: It has been extremely time-consuming to follow-up with Trusts and Units to submit their balance sheets on time. Kumar and Prabhu have been extremely helpful in assisting us with the follow-up. However, some trusts / units failed to submit their balance sheets even beyond the grace period extended to them. This is unacceptable. The CAG Certification Audit would commence from Monday 1st August. After the completion of the CAG Audit, we will organise a meeting with all the Trustees to put a better mechanism in place which will help timely submission of balance sheets, here on.

Completed Responsibilities

(Topics that we were involved in and have either been resolved or flagged with the relevant working group. We will not be reporting any more about these topics, but they do remain on our radar):
  1. Roundabout: The TDC has proposed to re-open the slope section of the Solar Kitchen round-about with some proposed enhancements to ensure further safety. While we do acknowledge and appreciate the thorough research done before proposing the enhancements, we have asked them to solicit a second opinion on the suggested changes, for example by Pondicherry Engineering College, since we do not hold the necessary expertise to provide a green-signal on safety. If the community is curious to know more about these proposed changes, please contact the TDC.
  2. Threatening letter to Vikas Community: There have been no further threats or disturbance towards members of the Vikas Community any more. For confidentiality reasons we had not published the letter officially, but for those who have shown interest in reading the letter, it is best you contact the Vikas community directly.
  3. Auroville Accounting Service: The proposal, along with a budget has been submitted to the FAMC for their further inputs and action.
  4. Abandoned pets: We have noticed a growing culture of people from outside abandoning their pets at the doorstep of Integrated Animal Care Centre (IACC) and also within other Auroville premises, such as the Town Hall. The IACC ends up taking these pets in, some of which are sick and/or wounded, and providing them with shelter, food, cure and care. It is becoming exceedingly difficult to care for such animals without available funds and infrastructure. While the IACC is continuing to handle the cases for now, they have shared with us that the scope of the IACC is public health in animals and that they do not have the bandwidth to shelter animals for long-term. The IACC is already handling more than 70 dogs. This topic has been discussed with the Av Council, and they have created a sub-group (Marc and Sundar) that will involve the community to find a solution. All those who may be interested in helping out in this matter are requested to contact the Av Council.
  5. Restructuring TDC: We would like to remind the community that this topic is being driven by the AV Council and a group of Aurovilians that emerged from the two-day workshop on the topic, held on Apr. 30th and May 1st. While we are informed and consulted, if you have any queries on this topic please contact the Av Council for first-hand information on the latest developments.
  6. Space audit: One of the topics that we had discussed during one of our internal retreat sessions was the need for a space audit of public spaces in Auroville in view of many spaces not being fully utilized. We shared the same with the FAMC, who have, in the meanwhile, taken it up.

Pending Topics

(Topics that are still on our table for which we have no noteworthy update to provide except that they are in progress and are not stagnating):
  1. Appeal Process
  2. Mobility
  3. 50th Anniversary
  4. Water Harvest / Water Service
  5. Windarra
  6. Auroville Child Development
  7. Pending visas