News & Notes 652:Auroville Sustainable Livelihood Institute – Naidu House

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652 icon.jpg   News & Notes 652
18 June 2016

Auroville Sustainable Livelihood Institute – Naidu House

All in Auroville know about the problems of finding suitable locations, buildings and spaces to support activities and environments that are suitable for operational needs. The solution for SLI was to acquire use of Naidu House on the road to Irumbai that was formerly the home for Water Harvest and its services related to water and irrigation in the bio-region.

The first concern is to find the building and the second is to adapt it to suit the purpose of the activity. SLI houses around a dozen permanent staff but, in a busy week, we may have 2 or 3 workshops comprising up to 20 people each, here for 3-4 day programs. To organise and plan workshops for up to 60 people plus the in-house staff (several of whom are typically supporting the visitors from 7 am-8 pm during their stay) it becomes a complex logistics exercise.

First of all the building and its surrounds have been adapted and adjusted over the last year. Rooms inside the building were restored and structures outside were remodelled. We now have three spaces; two inside and one outside that means there are 3 “classrooms” that can each support up to 20 people. These areas have facility to support audio-visual aids as required. In addition SLI has a functioning office facility for administration, finance, logistics and marketing as well as meeting rooms. Of course there is little hierarchy in the arrangements as there is flexible office space that people can use as needs require them to.

Kitchen and toilet facilities were constructed, again crucial elements because we have to provide food and facilities for up to about 70 people. We also constructed an open-air dining space.

The external areas have been remodelled to include shoe rack and circulating area. We have also planted trees, medicinal plants and a vegetable patch maintained by the staff members. Now there is also a poster at SLI giving the location of the various medicinal plants in the campus and their uses.

We invited a group of children from the Puvidham rural School in Dharmapuri who have bought their skill and enthusiasm to decorate the building with beautiful natural material based art-work on the walls with livelihood and cultural themes, this has made the place look and feel unique.

SLI is now a fully-functioning knowledge institution that is fit for providing educational workshops for rural communities and local livelihood in Tamil Nadu and beyond. SLI is open for Auroville community members anytime during the workshop days. Do write to info (at) or admin (at) and schedule your visit. We already work with over 30 Auroville units and this can also be expanded.

We invite Aurovilians to visit our Facebook page: [...]

The website and a blog can be found at:

SLI, Naidu house, Kottakarai, Auroville, 605 111
Ph: 91 0413 2622333 / 2622690
E-mail: programme (at)