News & Notes 699:Auroville Council Report for February, March and April, 2017
Auroville Council Report for February, March and April, 2017
The Entry Service is currently operating within an interim solution. The Auroville Council, the Working Committee and some members (Otto, Sonja, Doris, Valery, Matilde, etc.) of the Entry Task Group (ETG) are holding the responsibility for the Interim Entry Service. The tasks are adjusted to the requirements and evolving as the office is able to handle the workload. Please look at the announcements made regarding the interim phase. [...]
The ETG – subgroup of the Council and the Working Committee – is about to finalize the amendments of the Entry Policy 2015 (ratified in 2016). The Auroville Council along with the Working Committee and the ETG will present the changes and the work done by the Interim Entry in a General Meeting (GM) on May 11th. A presentation of the process that has been followed since the pause of the Entry Policy in November will be provided, and the next steps will be laid out.
Feedbacks from the working groups regarding the proposed changes will be received and incorporated. After that, the proposal will go to for Community feedback and for Community ratification.
Town Planning and Development
The Core Group presented to the community their work of the last one year on Monday 24th April 2017. This GM will be followed by a RAD which will be organised by RAS. More updates will be announced. Here is the link to the proposed TDC structure: http://ras.auroville.org.in/town-development-council-restructuring/
iTDC and Site applications
The Auroville Council has been approached by several individuals regarding the site applications processes followed by the iTDC. We have also heard from working groups that announcements in the N&N and Auronet are not being seen by community members and that they are faced with reactions when the implementation process begins. This has been very challenging, delaying the process in many aspects. We would like to remind everyone that we are here to build the city together and each of us is responsible for the collective growth.
Nevertheless, the Auroville Council together with iTDC is meeting to see how communications could be improved and what would be other means to have the information delivered to the community.
The Auroville Council has presently cases where the community approved processes have been followed, a lot of work has gone into getting permissions and now when it is the implementation phase for the manifestation of the project the neighbours and other objecting groups have woken up and blocked the project. The Auroville Council is working with iTDC and RAS to look into how to better inform the community regarding site applications and building applications and also on how to work on this attitude from our community of “not in my backyard” (“nimby”).
Matrimandir Garden development
Marc and Meera from the Matrimandir garden design group have asked for the Auroville Council’s intervention / help in facilitating a harmonious process between Matrimandir executives and themselves. As we are currently involved in the selection of the new Matrimandir Executives, this process is on hold.
Auroville Health Scheme
The Auroville Health Fund has become now The Auroville Health Scheme. The earlier policy has been amended by the Auroville Health Care group and feedback incorporated from BCC, FAMC and the Auroville Council. This modified policy was sent out to the community via news and notes, AVnet and RAS massmail for feedback. Now the community feedback for the Auroville Health Scheme is being looked into by the Auroville Health Care group and once the amended document with all the feedback incorporation is ready, it will be published for the information of the community.
Mental and Emotional Health Care – EMHC – Mattram
The pilot group for EMHC, the WCom and AVC support persons met on the 20.04.2017. Presently, the core team consists of Jerry B., Rita E and Linda-Grace, actively backed by Barbara (Sanjana ). The group's name is [[Mattram[[, the Tamil word for transformation. A blueprint of ideas has been shared with the Working Committee and Auroville Council, and short-term, middle-term, and long-term goals have been established. The top priority is to find an appropriate location and we invite any help, any ideas, or feedback from the Aurovilians. ABS (Auroville Board of Service) will be approached in order to become registered as a Service Unit and a preliminary budget is already provided. Since no cases have yet been handed over to Mattram, the WCom and AVC continue to take on cases, as and when needed.
Council Internal functioning
We are constantly improving our capacities on many levels. Min and Mike from ACI taught us to upgrade our technical computer skills to be more efficient and make use of collective platforms.
Julie (a volunteer) conducted a workshop on the Art of Listening which helped us to be more aware on how we listen to each other, our guests and to our issues. She attended also one of our meetings as a silent listener to have an understanding of our existing ways of working and processing.
We continue practicing during our meetings the 6 agreements introduced by Jean-Francois Noubel and that really helps us to be more relaxed, focused, and open to the issues we are holding.
A reminder on the 6 agreements are: (1) One deep breath before speaking; (2) Listen to the centre; (3) Speak to the centre; (4) Don’t take the floor, have it offered; (5) Speak from direct experience; (6) Anyone can invite silence.
Matrimandir Executives selection process
In collaboration with the Working Committee and after having received the feedback on the candidates from RAS, the process of selection has started. The new team is expected to be constituted by the second half of May and the criteria, the process followed and the new team members will be announced to the community.
Silent listeners / observers
The Pool of Silent listeners was established at the end of 2016. 8 Silent Listeners are now part of the group and their task is to be present in the AV Council meetings in the first phase, then gradually, if and when accepted, in the meetings of the other Working Groups to hold the space / atmosphere from their deepest being. It is foreseen that in the future any group having a meeting in Auroville will be able to benefit from this new service by tapping into this Pool.
The Silent listeners sit in the meetings in a concentration / meditation state, they are not actually listening to the content of the meetings, their attention is totally turned inward and it is through this centeredness that they are fulfilling their role of helping the group members to remain centred.
Every Silent listener has signed a commitment to respect confidentiality.
The Auroville Council has experienced the S.L. presence very beneficial / positive to the overall atmosphere of our meetings and their outcomes.
It has been proposed to launch a service of distant Silent Presence in the case of General meetings and anybody can be / participate as a Silent listener.
Auroville Learning Activities – ALA
In 2015 the Auroville Council set up a sub group with the objectives to :
- Promote the growth of the non-formal learning sector in Auroville
- Promote and encourage communication, sharing and collaboration
- Encourage practices in tune with the ideals of Auroville
- Abide by the laws of the Government of India
The ALA sub group members – Vikram, Dhanya, Dominique, Guy, Joster, Daniel and Lara – worked for the last 1.5 years on the guidelines which have been presented in a GM on April 29th. These guidelines are proposed for a trial period of 1 year and being shared with the residents. Several meetings and interactions with stakeholders were conducted throughout the last year. The Council would like to thank the subgroup for their great work done.
The implementation phase will be facilitated / coordinated by the Auroville Learning Activity Coordination Group (ALACG). This group is being constituted by Dhanya, Dominique and Daniel from the ALA sub group and by Gijs, Manas, Mike (ACI) and Sheba. Because more people showed interest to be part of it, the final constitution will be announced in July when the ALACG starts their work.
School bus safety
The Auroville Council in collaboration with the School Board, the Road Service, the SAIIER Transport and Auroville security is looking into school bus safety for our children. It is proposed to have a list of contact persons of all the schools (after school hours) and other important numbers available for emergency situations in all our school buses. Road Service and SAIIER Transport are in the process of putting up school bus-stop signs and widening some bus-stop areas during the holidays. The Auroville Council is very appreciative of Road Service and SAIIER Transport for taking up this very important work.
Peace & Justice
Pool of Arbiters
The pool of arbiters was enlarged as per the Auroville conflict resolution policy for arbiters to be available for the various arbitrations. The Auroville Council is grateful to the community for volunteering to become arbiters and resolve difficult issues.
Youth Hive Project in the International Zone
The Auroville Council, the Working Committee and the iTDC are still considering / processing some issues around the manifestation of the Youth Hive project in the International Zone.
A General information meeting is planned for July.
Arbitrations and Appeals processes
- Arbitration between 2 members of Promesse community has been successfully concluded.
- Aspiration Badminton ground: Implementation ongoing
- Ganesh / Housing arbitration - Implementation ongoing
We are currently processing three appeal requests.
For the Auroville Council,
Elisa, Enrica, Martin, Marc, Matriprasad, Mita, Renuka, Sandyra and Sundar