|Yorit Rozin, From my|
little hut in the forest
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Sadhana Forest in the south west corner may seem quite a way from many parts of Auroville, but it is really worth a visit. This ambitious reafforestation project was founded in 2003 by Aviram and Yorit, who at that time had practically no knowledge of forestry, but in the light of what Auroville is about, human unity, constant learning, a place of renewal and innovation, adventure, they put their life's savings of $63000 (earned from their work as professionals in business and archtecture, respectively) into the land and buildings (sustainable).
More than 18,200 indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest trees have so far been planted on the 70 acres of severely eroded, infertile land. This has been done with the labour and love of volunteers, from every corner of our planet. The trees have an exceptionally high viability rate, because they are planted with care and attention by motivated people who understand the importance of their work.
There is an increasingly popular EcoFilm Club every Friday, when you have the opportunity to join the volunteers in a delicious vegan (i.e. nothing of animal origin) meal and maybe learn something of their joys and travails in this great experiment. Sadhana Forest is vegan, partly for the reason that when animals are bred on a large scale for people to eat or milk, then, apart from the question of the animals' production of "greenhouse" gases, given the universal shortage of land, it is probable some biodiverse forest will have be destroyed to make way for a monoculture for grazing.
Volunteers pay 150 rupees per day, to cover the cost of meals, all vegan and organic local products. Except the food cost everything else is completely free of charge, accommodation, EcoFilm Club movie night, trainings, courses and internet wifi access. Living is very simple and is based on a consciousness of the connection between our environment and ourselves, a connection that determine the much of the quality of our lives.
Electricity is from solar or kinetic power sources, nothing from the Grid. If you have a minimum of 2 weeks, and think you might enjoy the challenge of living a very simple life, you are always welcome to come and work, and enjoy yourself in this unique environment. They are planning to get electric bicycles for the free use of volunteers. The toilets are designed to turn human waste into excellent compost for trees. The kitchen has a low-tech, highly efficient, wood-burning Rocket stove that burns about one fifth of the wood compared with local traditional stoves, cooks much more quickly and produces very little smoke and waste. Check out their ingenious but simple method for drastically reducing wastage of water when washing hands.
- Post: Yorit and Aviram Rozin, Sadhana Forest, Auroville, 605101, India
- E-mail: sadhanaforest (at) auroville.org.in
- Phone: 0091 413 267-7682 or 267-7683