SAIIER 2013:Ilaignarkal Education Centre

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Arulvazhi Education Centre
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Isai Ambalam School
Ilaignarkal Education Centre


At Ilaignarkal Education Centre we are imparting life education programs and development of essential skills mainly to the workers of Auroville and their wards. We accommodate a maximum of 50 learners with the available space, teaching materials and other facilities provided.

Our vision

  • To contribute in achieving the Dream of the Mother in this millennium.
  • To help Auroville city and its neighbourhood to co-evolve in achieving development goals.
  • To include in our vision: Learning, research, value-appreciation and leadership.

Mission of our school

  • To provide increased education opportunities for each age group, mainly youth (15 and above), appropriate to their specific needs, and increase training facilities to gain a greater range of vocational skills, communication skills and improve income generating capacities.
  • To be a bridge between the Auroville City and its neighbourhood through education programmes, cultural activities and healing.
  • To carry on research in Tamil, the language of this region as well as one of the four languages for Auroville as suggested by The Mother; develop teaching methods and materials particularly suited to first and second generation learners in collaboration with local, national and international educational institutions.
  • Disseminate the materials in order to increase the ability of teachers and managers of functional schools in life skills and youth leaders to reactivate the existing rural social institutions: thereby contribute to rising standards in the alternative schools. To put in a nutshell our school aims to realize the principle “Education for All” with the unending education inspiration imbibed from the Charter of Auroville.
  • To include all educational initiatives and methods which build self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence in order to draw out, develop, support community leadership and involvement capacities in working students, youth, teachers, parents and staff by providing channels to be constantly in touch with their higher aspirations, and co-evolve with the universal city, Auroville.
  • To provide improved, harmonious and beautiful physical resources which will have a multiple effect on the above objectives. The mission is to give exposure to young people on the Ideals of Human Unity as envisaged by The Mother in the Charter of Auroville.



12 issues of the monthly Tamil newsletter “Auroville Seydhi Madal”, 8-10 pages published regularly, well received by a wide circle of readers which is increasing every year. Most articles are on Tamil culture, history, the words of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother; bilingual language programmes, literary letters, and biographies on great personalities; creative writing, research articles, children‘s corner, book reviews and Auroville regional special positive news, etc.

We helped in making the book “Rojappoo Endra Pambin Kadhai”, children‘s stories by Bharati retold. Illustrations were by Ms. Janaki, Ilaignarkal School. Funded for publication by Tamil Heritage Centre.

Viyazha vattam (Thursday circle – weekly congregation)

Every Thursday evening we read classical Tamil works and listen to lectures by Tamil scholars. These books are reviewed by staff and students.

This year the study circle specialized in the classical literature of KambaRamayanam authored by Kambar.

Our efforts of learning the KambaRamayanam for 12 months gave us the strength to take up a project in Auroville with the backing of Tamil Heritage Centre for a full day seminar on KambaRamayanam for students of Tamil literature, local youth and workers of Auroville, all age group numbering 225.

Best Youth Award 2012

Best Youth Award was conferred on Odissi Dancer Selvi Kanchana of Udavi School for her dedication in imparting training in classical Mahari Style of Odissi Dance to the most under privileged children hailing from the neighbouring villages around Auroville. She studied in Isaiambalam and Ilaignarkal in the early years. We appreciate her ability to learn and teach Odissi with devotion and determination. During the festival of literature and arts well known Tamil Poet Sri Arivumathi from Chennai presented the award to Kanchana.

Best Student Award 2012

Best Student Award 2012 was conferred on Mrs. Dhavamani Vijai who is working in Citadyn community Auroville. She has shown great interest in school programmes and shared her knowledge with the group.

Visits and tours

We visited the Pondicherry Vedapurieswar Siva temple hall exhibition on native clay pottery, doll making and sale by local artisans during Navaratri Festival.

Summer special activities (April and May 2012)

25 children of Auroville workers attended classes during summer vacation. Classes on arts, crafts and languages were conducted. Group activities with folk games, riddles and slogans were introduced. Group singing was practiced. Identification of herbal plants, native birds and insects became part of their everyday observation classes.

Summer camp participants celebrated a gala finale inviting parents and guests. They presented an exhibition of the posters and charts created during the summer camp on environmental issues.

Children and parents Educare programme

Twice a month, a child-parent Educare group numbering not less than 25 meets at our school and discusses health, education and social awareness programmes related to child care with particular reference to growing girls.

Meaningful festivals and celebrations

On 5th September 2012, Ilaignarkal students celebrated Teachers’ Day by honouring their teachers. It looked like a Vedic school – Guru Sikshya Ashram of yesteryears. Students sat in front of their teachers one to one and get their blessings and autographs. They also offered flowers, fruits and simple and made items as gifts to show their gratitude.

Navarathri Kolu (dasara) Festival of Evolution was celebrated in October, the annual feature of our school. A large class room was decorated; dolls were organized thematically by students to express their creativity and progress.

In February the annual Children’s Book Fair was conducted in our school campus in collaboration with Tamil Heritage Centre. More than 4000 children with their teachers, parents and friends visited the Fair. More than one fifty thousand books were displayed

On 24th March in collaboration with Tamil Heritage Centre we organized open-air Folk Shadow Leather Puppet show on Ramayana. The folk artists came from a traditional school near Salem, Tamilnadu. Nearly 500 children and adults packed the SAWCHU hall in Bharat Nivas. The artist gave a workshop at Ilaignarkal Education Centre on the techniques of preparation of the leather puppets and handling the various musical instruments, such as melam, mukhaveenai and thaalam.

On Sunday 31th March a one-day children‘s theatre workshop on Kamba Ramayanam literature was conducted. Dr. Velu Saravanan, Professor School of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University was the facilitator of this programme. Our school staff and students hosted the whole day events. It enriched the histrionic talents of the participants. The young trainees presented their performance in the evening at SAWCHU.

Personality development courses

In June, 25 school-going children of workers attended a special course on Personality Development. Our staff member Mr. Anandou conducted classes on self-awareness and communication skills.

10 days of communication skills and yoga training were given to 12 Tamilnadu Police Corps of Special Branch in our campus, promoted by the D.S.P of Kottakuppam Police Station, Auroville circle. The police young men and women showed great interest in our “KNOW THYSELF” training.

In October 2012, Ravuthankuppam Health Centre (development workers training programme) 20 students led by Sri Ramamourthy got trained in group work and community organization by our staff Meenakshi. A full day progrmme was a success.

In December 2012, eight senior women workers of Auroville households attended a body awareness programme. Sri Velmurugan, Yoga teacher conducted the classes and taught them simple yoga asanas and breathing exercises for healthy life which they enjoyed. Ms. Janaki of our staff directed the course.

In January 2013, a workshop for young writers was conducted by Meenakshi. Men and women lecturers from neighbouring colleges attended two days workshop on creating new materials for children‘s literature and sent their scripts. The best book was selected and given for publication with the GOI financial assistance from and technical help from Ilaignarkal.

Other highlights

Solar power: The school has launched a project to a study utilization of renewable energy and economize the consumption of power for various day today activities in the campus. This project is in collaboration with Sunlit Future, Auroville Electrical Service and specialists i.e. Sri Toine van Megan and team. The school campus has become a demonstration unit – a model for Solar Power System. Many officials from the State and the Centre are visiting our school to learn from our experience, in harvesting electricity from the roof top solar panels. Ours is a demonstration plot and educates people.

Bharathi Day School always creates a space for those needy children to have a learning atmosphere when it is demanded. Last year two Nepali children sought space before joining other regular schools. This year we could avail the facilities to run a play school for three kids for a family hailing from Uzbekistan. Ms. Sumitra of our staff dedicates her time for running the crèche. The children are open to the Tamil setting and learn Tamil, English and life skills in a natural way.