Camp Auroville: Ecological Stewardship & Human Well-Being

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Camp Auroville program is an initiative using Auroville and its outstanding experience in human unity & sustainable living as a platform for the learning and personal growth of students from around …

Camp Auroville program is an initiative using Auroville and its outstanding experience in human unity & sustainable living as a platform for the learning and personal growth of students from around the world. The program is based on the H3 approach that nurtures the hands (skills), head (competencies) and heart (inner capacities) of all participants. The progam explored the practical application of ecological stewardship principles in order to promote enhanced human and planetary well-being. This program integrates hands-on learning in attempt to actualize participants’ inner strength, to activate critical system thinking and to work on students’ technical capacities of designing and implementing projects.
Ten students in high school or new high school graduates from New Delhi and Chennai participated in this 9-day emersion program held from 20st June to 29th June 2014 at Auroville International Township in Tamil Nadu, India.

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  • 1. CAMP AUROVILLE 2014 ECOLOGICAL STEWARDSHIP & HUMAN WELL-BEING
  • 2. ECOLOGICAL STEWARDSHIP & HUMAN WELL-BEING CAMP AUROVILLE 2014 This publication documents the 8-day program: Camp Auroville 2014 ‘Ecological Stewardship & HumanWell-Being’.The publication was pre- pared in a collaborative way by participating students and facilitators. Those were: Arkin Khosla,Tanvi Bokaria,Trilokya Guttapalli, Bani Kaur, Anam Bhatia, Saransh Gothi,Yuvraj Khanna, Adhish Aggarwal,Tejas Sachdeva, Rohan Desai.
  • 3. Acknowledgement Camp Auroville is the result of the dedicated work of Arjun Seth, Balu Ramalingam, Catherine Vallet, Martin Scherfler, Shefali Mendon, Prakash Kutti andVimal Bhojraj, ErikaVan t’Veld. A spe- cial thanks to Luigi Zanzi for his endless goodwill and enthusiasm and making possible the edible landscaping project at Citadine Community. An- other special thanks to Kalsang from the Pavilion forTibetan Culture for her infinite hospitality that made all participants feel at home. Many thanks to the countless Aurovilians that contributed to the successful completion of this program with their valuable inputs and guidance. Special grati- tude to all the food growers and producers that share our common vision of a healthy local living food economy based on ecological stewardship principles. “We are all Interested in the Future, because that is Where we Plan to Spend the Rest of Our Lives” — Villain in Superman comic book episode, The Time Machine, c. 1957 Camp Auroville 2014 Contents INTRODUCTION 1 ECOLOGICAL STEWARDSHIP & HUMANWELLBEING 2 PARTICIPANTS’ PROFILES & LEARNIING 4 URBAN AGRICULTURE PROJECT 7 OUR FUTURE COMMITTMENTS 13
  • 4. Introduction Camp Auroville program is an initiative using Au- roville and its outstanding experience in human unity & sustainable living as a platform for the learning and personal growth of students from around the world.The program is based on the H3 approach that nurtures the hands (skills), head (competencies) and heart (inner capacities) of all participants. The progam explored the practical application of ecological stewardship principles in order to pro- mote enhanced human and planetary well-being. This program integrates hands-on learning in attempt to actualize participants’ inner strength, to activate critical system thinking and to work on students’ technical capacities of designing and implementing projects. Ten students in high school or new high school graduates from New Delhi and Chennai partici- pated in this 10-day emersion program held from 20st June to 29th June 2014 at Auroville Interna- tionalTownship inTamil Nadu, India. Martin Scherfler Co-Founder Auroville Consulting Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein Program contents: Students work on the implementation of an urban agriculture project at Citadine Community at Auroville.The project is a focal point around which topics such as sustainable water manage- ment, organic food production, ecological think- ing, sustainable waste management or social entrepreneurship were presented during after- noon sessions. Students are also introduced to a local artist, theater games, and the basics of capoeira dance and Brazilian martial arts. Objectives • Introduce students to ecological principles and their applications. • Stimulate pattern thinking among students. • Shadow work done at various service and pro duction units in Auroville to get clarity about their career choices. •Appreciate Auroville’s multicultural learning environment and its unique art and cultural scenes. • Prompt college readiness and introduce students to independent residential campus living. Camp Auroville 20141
  • 5. 2 Participants defined Ecological Stewardships as: A mutually interdependent relationship, which includes both the biotic and abiotic components of nature and includes equality balance and produc- tivity.This energy flow involves trust, dedication, and care, which evolves over time. Something that implies responsible interdepend- ence amongst the productive diversity of the environment and its organisms. It, too, implies a resilient care and dedicated commitment towards positive energy flow. Above all it entails account- able service to and awareness of the biosphere. A responsibility towards one’s physical and social environment while maintaining a symbiotic bal- ance. The interactive responsibility of effective manage- ment of resources.This entails holistic approach to environment and its energy flows. Something that supports and nurtures eco-system services and natural abundance, attempts to cre- ate planetary prosperity, and promotes biological and cultural diversity Ecological Stewardship Participants defined HumanWellbeing as: Something that implies a sense of contentment in all psychological, emotional and physical aspects of living. The state of maintaining mental and physical bal- ance. Physical, emotional, and intellectual vitality and balance. A state of individual and collective vitality, con- tentment and prosperity as a result of activities that are meaningful and engaging. Camp Auroville 2014 Human Well-Being
  • 6. “Its not a question of human wellbeing but of surviv- al” - Bernard from Pebbles Garden, Auroville “How your inner wisdom, embodied in you, can help others around you”- Shiva from Auroville 3 Encounters “Taking care of something that does not belong to you, but you do it for the future generations”- Deoyani, from Auroville Camp Auroville 2014
  • 7. 4 My name is Arkin Khosla, and I am a senior atVas- antValley School, New Delhi. I stand for creativity, curiosity, passion, and determination. I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and enjoy study- ing and working with startups. I am always curious to learn and love reading and watching videos about anything to do with entrepreneurship. I am more expressive during interactions with people and so prefer the verbal to written mode of expression. At Auroville, I learned a lot about Ecological Steward- ship and HumanWellbeing, both practically as well as theoretically. My favourite part of the program was the presentation on Garbology by Ribhu and the interaction with Gjis from UnlimitedTamil Nadu. I also thoroughly enjoyed the visits to the farms of Krishna, Bernard, Priya and those of many others’. A definite highlight will be the visit to the Matri Mandir. I learned about realizing one’s inner strengths and weaknesses. I noticed a change in which I look at my surround- ings, especially the plants and the trees around me. I also got through ten days without an AC, which I consider a good achievement for myself. I have now understood the importance of trees and plants in our surroundings and will definitely spread awareness to conserve them. I also learned about several key aspects of urban agriculture such as composting and mulching. I hope to come back to Auroville next sum- mer and wish to match up the experience I had this time, if not exceed it. My name is Rohan Desai. I currently am in the 12th grade and am pursuing the International Baccalaure- ate diploma. I stand for perseverance, selflessness, and justice. I have always been interested in his- tory and reading about the immense discrimination against women, Dalits, and the OBC’s (Other Back- ward Classes). It has always angered me but I never felt I could do something to change the common ideology, which against popular belief, is still preva- lent in India. I also believe I am open to any kind of change if necessary. In addition I have also learned the importance and the ease of living a sustainable life. I also noticed that I am more comfortable in express- ing myself in a group than I thought I was. Apart from personal growth I have gained a lot of practical and theoretical knowledge about urban farming. Previ- ously I could have never imagined that one could make one’s own fertile soil. I also surprisingly learned how to sleep under a fan! But I did feel that the pro- gram was a bit rushed and the timetable packed in a lot of things in one day leaving us less time to focus on a few aspects of urban and sustainable farming. One of the most important things I learned was that action is possible no matter the extent of the situation. I have learned that there are people working towards justice on a large scale and working towards it isn’t a pointless thought. After I reach Delhi I feel I will lead a different lifestyle to an extent. I feel that I would be more conscious of my day to day habits. Arkin Khosla Rohan Desai Participants’Profiles & Learning My name is Saransh Gothi. I am originally from Mum- bai but I shifted to New Delhi about 3 years ago where I am in Sardar PatelVidyalaya and just started 11th grade. I was brought up in a house where I was given quite a lot of freedom and still am. I am really passion- ate about animals and hope to pursue a career in that field.This has mainly originated by watching Steve Irwin and Austin Stevens on Animal Planet. I stand for enthusiasm, passion, and thirst for knowledge. I am adaptable and open to change, having shifted from 5 schools and 3 cities. I am an introvert who likes meeting new people. Here in Auroville, I learned many new sustainable practices which I will apply when I get back to home. At a personal level, this camp has taught me to be a little more confident and expres- sive. I realized that I have the ability to work hard and get the tasks done without giving up. I also met many interesting people with fascinating personalities that would shape my future personal and professional life. My name is Martin. I stand for integrity, compassion and courage to create. I was born in a small village settlement at the heart of Austria. I grew up playing in the local forests, running after the soccer ball and supporting (often reluctantly so) my parents in their daily farm work and their restaurant business. I hold a masters degree in sociology. In 2005 I moved to Auroville, India where I have been living and work- ing since. Inspired by some of the environmental and educational work done in Auroville, I chose to make this my main area of activity. I am passionate about creating programs and projects that contribute to environmental and social justice and give participants a sense of completion. I love to share this passion with students, volunteers and interns of all ages and back- grounds. People can count on me for being responsi- ble, doing what I say I will do and for me trying to do the best I can. Saransh Gothi Martin Scherfler
  • 8. Yuvraj Khanna My name isTejas Sachdeva; I am from New Delhi cur- rently studying in 12th grade in Delhi Public School, R.K Puram. I stand for equality, selflessness, empathy, and justice. From an early age I found freedom of ex- pression through photography that has always helped me break free from the restraints of the society. I am a caring person who cares about various social issues such as equality for women, and animal and environ- mental rights as well. I am also an adventurous person who likes experiencing new things in life such as travelling and playing sports. My unique professional skills include my experiences in photography and my leadership skills. I am open to learning new things in life and learning from my mistakes, which helps me grow as a person. From this program I will go back being a more confident person who can speak in front of a group of people. Auroville and the people living here have inspired me to live a sustainable life, which is good for the environment. I have also learned about various farming trees, which I can use on my terrace garden. Overall this program has helped me become a better person. Tejas Sachdeva 5 My name is Anam Bhatia,I am originally from karnal,Haryana but went to high school in Delhi.I stand for patience,humbleness and self dis- cipline.From an early age I have been fond of mathematics which has helped me to be more practical and logical in any decision I make.Most often I express myself on the cricket field where I love to bowl my heart out.My unique profes- sional skills include knowledge about the python programming language and a semi professional experience in pace bowling.The best part of the ecological stewardship program has to be the theater workshop with Ross where all of us let ourselves loose and had loads of fun.This experi- ence has been a big learning curve for me and has made me realize the importance of a sustainable environment and the hard work that’s needed to be put in to make it happen.All this has encour- aged me to continue with my personal project after the summer school so that I can contribute whatever little I can to make this world a better place to live in. My name is Adhish, I was born in Amritsar but I studied in Ajmer in a hostel.Their I made friends from all over India.they were from different cultures and background. As I was in hostel, I learned to be disci- plined. I don’t like to express myself as I think by doing so, people judge you and I don’t like to be judged. My unique professional skill is that I like to observe new things around me.The best part of the program was theater workshop because in that class we learned different things like trusting others and coordination and Krishnas workshop as he taught different tech- niques of agriculture which I could use in project of farming.I see myself as a more keen observer and a patient person and as a person who has learned new things that can be used in real life. Anam Bhatia Adhish Aggarwal Camp Auroville 2014 My name isYuvraj Khanna. I am from Ludhiana, Punjab and currently I am in 12th grade. I stand for kindness and passion. I believe that everything hap- pens for a reason. Basically, I am an introvert so I don’t express myself that much. Although, I do express myself while I am singing. I am the lead singer of my band in school and I have performed in various fests. I love music and am always curious about it. My thirst for music just doesn’t end. I loved the Auroville pro- gram. It was my kind of program because I like peace- ful and green places and also, it was a break from the concrete jungles. Personally, the whole program was amazing and a new experience, the best part of the program except for the cycling and Capoira, was the SoundWorkshop, because there I got to hear some amazing sounds and beats and I even got to play an instrument. In terms of inner strength, I learned how to be courageous and independent. I learned how farming is done and how difficult it is and even devel- oped some skills of farming like composting. I these last 8 days of the program I noticed that I have be- come more courageous than I was before. Now, when I go back home, one of the things I will do is to keep a check on what I am eating, especially non-vegetarian food (after watching the movie Food Inc.). I will prefer organic food over chemical food because now I know how organic stuff is better than chemical stuff.
  • 9. My name isTanvi Bokaria. I have been living in Chen- nai all my life. I have been brought up in a school that follows Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teaching in philosophy. From a very young age, we have been taught to take a 100% responsibility for the consequences of our ac- tions. School has played a large role in shaping me. I have learnt to respect everyone and open my mind. I express myself outwardly and love talking to new people. I stand for justice, fearlessness, and courage. I am very passionate about baking and I have already set up a small business which I execute from home. The best part of this program for me was meeting new people and learning from their personal experi- ences. I have made a lot of friends this last week, including the faculty. I am learning how important and necessary it is for one to live sustainably in the finite environment. I also feel that the diversity in the group has taught to accept differences more easily. I would definitely go back to Chennai and start my personal project of raising awareness about natural farming in my neighborhood. I would also make the effort to control my anger and frustration and release this energy in an acceptable way. My name is CatherineVallet. Born and raised in a traditional French city near Paris, I studied Inter- national Business and Marketing in-between Paris and Madrid. I discovered the Auroville community 8 months ago thanks to an internship in Pondicherry and decided to come back one full year to enjoy the full human experience. I stand for respect, humility, sharing and curiosity. My studies allowed me to travel and move from place to place during these past 5 years. I learned tremendously from every city I have lived in, the people I met, the culture I discovered. These travels contributed to build my personality and strengthen my self-confidence, as I express myself through sharing and socializing with my surrounded environment a true believer of the human capacities, I tend to always see the best in people. Good observer and listener, I understand and apprehend people and situation easily, providing the most adequate solu- tion for them.These qualities became my strongest professional skills. As I understand people’s needs and new markets, I am able to develop and market prod- ucts efficiently for each. Auroville camp reinforced my patience and tolerance.Through the workshops and people I met, I learnt a lot about the true values of Au- roville, which are constant learning, human well-being and respect for nature. In the next months, I will try to deepen my knowledge in natural farming helping my housemate to build a new garden at home. Tanvi Bokaria Catherine Vallet 6 My name is Bani and am from Karnal and currently I am in class 12. I stand for Courage, Persistence and Compassion. I believe that these qualities go a long way in building my personality. My personal way of expression is writing. I write poems to express my both my emotions and experiences and I feel that it’s a good way of dealing with them. I also believe I have good oratory skills and am confident on stage with anchoring, declamation, and debates. I learned a lot about both my environment and myself, and the best part of the program so far was the SoundWorkshop. It taught us how to work together as a team.What I learned in terms of inner strengths was that it’s better to focus on strengthening what I stand for rather than to focus on overcoming my fears, which, in compari- son to your strength, seem insignificant. I’ve changed a few things about myself in the last few days, the biggest achievement being that I am less judgmental than I used to be. I’ve learnt to accept things and peo- ple as they are without airing my opinion about stuff that isn’t related to me. I will be more respectful of other people’s wishes and give my complete attention to the things they do for me. My name isTrilokya Pavani Guttapalli. I am originally from Hyderabad but I stayed in Delhi. I am taking a gap year to explore my options. I stand for curiosity, empathy, and fun. My personal form of expression is music. I am passionate about many social issues such as helping orphans and raising awareness about education among women. My unique professional experience includes folk singing and video realization. In terms of inner strengths and skills, I have learned that I stand for persistence, passion and clarity. I noticed that I am not very comfortable expressing myself to a large group of people but that I am at ease talking about issues that I like. I have learned many interesting things from the people of Auroville.They have dedicated so much time and effort into building this community, which truly has a deep inner mean- ing for them. My stay in Auroville has inspired me to live a more sustainable lifestyle and become sensi- tive towards nature. It has also given me knowledge on traditional and modern organic farming. After my stay in Auroville, I will definitively continue with my personal project of introducing sustainable energies in Hyderabad. Bani Kaur Trilokya Pavani Gut- tapalli Camp Auroville 2014
  • 10. 7 URBAN AGRICULTURE PROJECT “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller Participants designed and im- plemented a urban agriculture project at Citadine Community, Auroville. The harvested crop of the urban farm will be used by the community kitchen at Citadine.
  • 11. A local food economy is a network of communi- ty-based food businesses that contribute to the local economy. A greater public interest has been raised in issues such as food security, food miles, carbon emis- sions or the slow food movement. Consequently, an increasing number of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for a better quality food that has a lower environmental impact. In order to build a local food economy and a sus- tainable and stable food chain for a local market, cooperation and integration of people from a same community has to be strengthened.The community has to realize that they are the princi- pal actors of their own change. Local food economies bring short and medium term benefits to a community including: •The creation of local jobs. • Enhancing the local economy commercially, financially and socially. • Increasing local capacity to meet consumer demands. Urban Agriculture: Building Living Local Food Economies One main component of Camp Auroville program was the design and implementation of an edible garden project at a Citadine community, a resi- dential community, of Auroville. Citaine is home to about 40 residents, and is located next to Auroville’s administrative center and the Matri- mandir, the geographical and spiritual center of Auroville. In front of the Citadine community there is a green corridor connecting the residen- tial area of the township and the greenbelt. Part of the green corridor was chosen to implement the edible garden project.The emphasis was on establishing a fluid connection to integrate the existingTropical Dry Evergreen Forest with fruit trees, ornamental plants, and creating vegetable producing spaces and areas for cultivating herbs and medicinal plants species. What has been done: Infrastructure • 11 raised vegetable beds each 120 cm wide, 30 cm high, and different lengths were created using a mixture of laterite topsoil, cow manure, vermicompost and bio charcoal • water efficient drip irrigation was installed, recyled water only will be used for irrigation of crops • trellis for creeper plants were installed (cucumbers, tomato, basella spinach, gourdes, long bean, wigged bean etc.) Citadine Edible Garden Project 8 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 12. Planting of fruits bearing crops 32 banana trees (intercropped with bougainvillea) 70 pineapples saplings 2 passion fruit plant 2 lemon trees 1 pomello tree 1 pomegranate tree 1 soursoup tree 1 malabar chestnut tree 1 berry tree Planting of vegetables crops 60 sapplings basella spinach 40 sapplings lauki (gourd) 35 sapplings cucumbers 40 sapplings tomatoes 5 sapplings pumpkin 58 sapplings long beans 40 sapplings ladyfingers 40 sapplings corn Planting of herbs and medicinal plants 70 lemon grass plants 10 tulsi plants 5 italian basil plants 5 basil plants 20 karpuravalli plants (indian borage) 10 aloe vera plants Other 5 gliceria trees (for nitrogen fixing) Farming Knowledge The following paragraphs introduce some farmi- made out of cow dung, charcoal, and urine, helps to bring carbon and ammonia (obtained from urine) to the soil to increases soil fertility. Soil is composed of minerals, organic matter, and myriads of organisms that support life. It is a medium for plant growth because it stores, sup- plies, and purifies water, it holds carbon, and it provides a habitat for organisms. Its composition varies from place to place, as it might be rocky or highly fertile. Various levels of carbon content helps us to differentiate the different types of soil.The higher the level of carbon it contains, the more fertile it is and the more nutritious the crops that grow from it will be. Adding organic compost made out of cow dung, charcoal, and urine, helps to bring carbon and ammonia (obtained from urine) to the soil to increases soil fertility. Biodiversity refers to the varieties of life existing in and around our surroundings. Farming is one of the several activities dependent on biodiversity and is highly important to obtain a healthy har- vest. On a microbial level, tiny organisms such as earthworms are major contributors for a healthy soil as they increase nutrient availability, im- prove drainage, plough the fields and therefore improve the soil structure. In a similar manner, bigger organisms such as trees and animals are also important for effective farming.Trees may provide habitat to pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which in turn will provide invaluable services to the farmers by pollinating crops. Soil Composition & Soil Fertility Biodiversity & Farming 9 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 13. When a machine is put to work for an extended period of time and exposed to the natural ele- ments it will eventually break down. In a similar way, soil loses its productivity when exposed to the harsh conditions of nature. Mulching is the process of covering up the top soil to protect and help preserve the longevity and the productivity of the soil. There are 2 types of mulching: • Inorganic mulching, such as plastic tents, which tend to suffocate soil. • Organic mulching, used in Auroville most of the time, consists of a mix of animal waste, dry leaves, and other organic matter The main benefits of organic mulching include: - Contributing to the soil building by attracting termites that bring up soft particles of soil to the surface and form a raised top soil layer - Preventing pests - Maintaining the moisture level - Giving back nutrients to the soil while decomposing. - Preventing top soil erosion. Mulching Crop Rotation is the practice of growing a series of different types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons.These crops can range from rice and wheat, to vegetables (like okra) or pulses (like beans). Crop rotation brings along the following benefits: • Farmers can keep their fields under continuous production instead of letting them lay fallow • A reduction in the need for artificial fertilizers • It decreases the spread of pests and diseases during the growing season •The crop yield increases • It increases the nutrient concentration in the soil (nitrogen level) Cover crops, also known as green manure, are- crops grown to prevent soil erosion, suppress weeds, control pests and diseases, and to build soil nutrients after the main crops have been har- vested. Usually from the legume family, species like alfalfa, beans, and cowpeas are used as green manure since they have nitrogen-fixing proper- ties.They convert nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix them through their roots into the soil.The plants can then be used for mulching and even- tually buried in the soil to make full use of their properties Crop Rotation Green Manuring & Cover Crops 10 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 14. Water efficiency is the process of reducing wa- ter waste by minimizing the water required for specific purposes – in this case for crop irrigation. Micro-irrigation technologies such as sprinklers or drip irrigation substantially increase water efficiency and may reduce the water demand by a factor of 10. Water efficiency however, starts with selecting appropriate crops to the local climatic conditions. Mulching as we have learned earlier, is also an effective and low-cost technol- ogy that helps save water. Crop selection is the process of dedicating some varieties of crops to a specific plot of land, re- garding the factors determining their growth. Se- lecting the right crops increases the productivity of the land, determines the water requirements, for irrigation and affects the soil fertility. This process depends on various factors: • Climatic and micro-climatic conditions • Soil quality and soil fertility • Seed quality • Rainfall pattern • Availability and accessibility of water Water Efficiency Crop Selection Seed sovereignty is defined as the farmers’ right to save, use, exchange, and sell their own seeds. A farmer becomes “seed sovereign” when he does not need to buy seeds from outside sources. He is independent and produces all his own seeds and crops. Seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. Its application goes far beyond farmers’ interests and crops. In the traditional agriculture, every farmer used to be “seed sov- ereign”. But in today’s world, with modern linear perspectives, new laws, and genetic modification, things have changed.There is need for the revival of seed sovereignty. Pest management is the regulation of pest spe- cies. Pests are detrimental to plant health and crop yield, and often appear when new crops or organisms are introduced to a farm. Some be- lieve that no pest control is the best pest control strategy, while others over-practice it by using harmful chemicals. Pest management is done to minimize the damages done to crops and prevent the yield from diminishing.The result of good pest management is healthy plants in healthy soil. Natural pest control is done by: • Cultivating a healthy and living soil • Mulching • Proper and well thought out crop rotation • Increasing the within-field diversity • Cultivating one’s own seeds • Cultivating crops that are adapted to local climatic conditions Seed Sovereignty Pest Management 11 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 15. Our Future Commitments Commitment is an act, not a word.” Jean-Paul Sartre 12 Committed to sustainable and equitable development partici- pants have chosen projects close to their heart and interest which they commit to imple- ment within the next 12 months.
  • 16. Issues: The lack of awareness about natural farming is an existing phenomenon in the city of Chennai. I see this as an issue because people are not aware or not interested about where their food comes from and about the nutrients in it. Also, organic saplings are inaccessible in the city. System Shift: • From a lack of awareness, towards awareness and knowledge. • From a basic consumer, towards an eco-conscious consumer and producer. • From ignorance towards how/where the food grows, towards active engagement in what comes to their plate. Raise Awareness About Natural Farming What will I do? I will organize free talks in my neighborhood (50 -75 people) about organic/natural farming. I will encourage them to grow their own food by dis- tributing 130 saplings and providing assistance. byTanvi Bokaria Issue: • Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides leading to soil infertility. • Overdependence of farmers on seed and fertilizer industries who financially exploit them. System Shift: • Government should carefully supervise multinational corporations (MNCs) so that they do not unnecessarily pressure farmers to use their products. • Awareness programs can be launched to inform farmers about the benefits and the techniques of natural farming. • Removing subsidies on chemical fertilizers to encouraging organic farming. What will I do? • Encouraging my father to start using organic products on his farm would urge the neighboring farmers to do the same. Outcome • Limiting the use of chemicals on crops and using bio resources as a natural fertilizer would lead farmers to be self-sufficient, thus preventing suicides. •The soil quality would improve drastically leading to a more profitable crop. by Anam Bhatia Making Farms Selfsufficient by Using Bioresources 13 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 17. Issue • Use of chemical fertilizers in todays farming is harming human health and polluting soil and underground water, and is not an organic farming practice. System Shift • MNC’s (Multi National Companies) should step in and provide farmers with materials needed to do organic farming. • Government should provide more subsidies to farmers practicing organic farming. What will I do: • I will show people that chemical fertilizers are harmful for our health and it pollutes our soil by doing Ph. tests, and I will spread awareness about the schemes offered by the government to people practicing organic farming. • I will bring soil from both an organic field and Organic Farming an inorganic field and conduct the experiment in front of 50 farmers to prove my point. • I will tell them that organic products are sold at higher prices than other products, which will increase their profits. by Adish Aggarwal Issues: Decreasing biodiversity in urban areas is a major issue. One of the reasons this issue is surfacing is due to rapid development, causing the habitat destruction of butterflies. Over 35,000 trees have already been cut for the Delhi Metro Phase-I, National Highway Project, flyovers, underpasses, subways, and general road widening. System Shifts: One of the system shifts would be from a de- structive behavior to a regenerative behavior. Another would be creating awareness about the value of biodiversity. What I Will Do: • Identify the plants that attract butterflies. • Get permission to carry out the planting. • Plant at least 5 plants/bushes to start with. •Work on a budget. • Use it as an educational tool to show the neighborhood. •Talk to the gardener about the whole process. Outcome: Neighborhood will be turned into a beautiful habitat for butterflies, which can be enjoyed by the residents as well. By Saransh Gothi Creating a Habitat for Butterflies 14 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 18. ISSUE Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. System Shifts • Importance of water to be taught in offices, schools etc. • People need to be educated about the decreasing ground water levels. • Rainwater harvest systems to be made mandatory in New Delhi. WHAT WILL I DO • Put posters, slogans, and endorsements and perform street plays. Rain Water Harvesting System • Start water saving campaigns in my local schools and neighborhoods. • Collect the water used while rinsing fruits and vegetables and use to water houseplants. Outcome • Ground water level increases • 24/7 water supply • Sufficient water supply during dry seasons • It provides water when there is a drought, can help mitigate flooding of low-lying areas, and reduces demand on wells, which may enable ground water levels to be sustained. • It also helps in the availability of potable water, as rainwater is substantially free of salinity and other salts. • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruits and vegetables and using it to water house plants. By Tejas Sachdeva In almost every area of India, there is a lack of awareness of organic practices. Even if there is awareness, people still blindly eat chemically treated food.The objective of the project is to increase the awareness about organic practices by creating an organic rooftop garden. ISSUE Increasing awareness is necessary because of the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers on the environment and human beings. Some of the harmful chemical fertilizers may cause waterway pollution, chemical burn to crops, increased air pollution, acidification of the soil, and mineral de- pletion of the soil.The microorganisms that live inside the soil and enrich it die because of these fertilizers.They can contaminate the quality of the surface water and groundwater. Chemical pesticides can have far-reaching effects on hu- man health. Individuals who consume pesticide- sprayed fruits and vegetables are consuming Creation of an Organic Rooftop Garden toxins.Therefore, it’s time we address this issue before it’s too late. SYSTEM SHIFTS •The most important shift in society to make this project happen is the thinking.The thinking of society needs to be changed. • Organic food should be accessible to all. For this to happen, first people need to grow organic food and second, it should become available in the supermarket WHAT I WILL DO I will plant organic plants in my rooftop garden to inspire my neighbours and the society in gen- eral to leave harmful chemical foods and prefer organic foods. I will show them my garden. Also, I will help them in setting up their garden. I hope I will inspire people and I would measure the number of houses who have started growing organic foods on their rooftops or in their gar- dens. byYuvraj Khanna 15 Camp Auroville 2014
  • 19. 16 ISSUE: Golf is a game of the elite, and is not accessible to the financially underprivileged section of the society. India is suffering because of this prob- lem, as we are losing out on a huge section of the population that could be potential professional golfers representing our country. SYSTEM SHIFTS •The local golf clubs will have to cooperate in order to support those golfers • Golf should be introduced in schools at all levels. • Professional golfers will have to be willing to dispose their used equipment in the right way. Making Golf Accessible to the Financially Underprivileged WHAT WILL I DO: I will create a foundation through which used golf equipment will be collected from profes- sional golfers and be distributed amongst young golfers who cannot afford the game. Since pro- fessional golfers discard their equipment after a very brief period of time even though it is in good condition, I believe they will willingly give their equipment to the foundation. I will use my per- sonal connections with professional golfers in the first stage of the project. MEASURABLE DELIVERABLES: Golf will become more popular in India and will begin to draw support and sponsors to the game. India will produce more golfers at the interna- tional level and golf will no longer remain the game of the elite. by Arkin Khosla The issue : People are using plastic bags for every small things and these are contributing towards envi- ronmental degradation. The principles that go behind the concept of this project are sustainability and social responsibilty System Shifts : The focus of this project is to create a community that is aware of the problems it faces and takes measures to rectify them. Specifically, people should go from using plastic bags frequently to using them infrequently to stop using them altogether. Cloth Bags How the problems show up: India produces 420 g of garbage per person per day. Only 1 % of it is recycled and 99% of it ends up in landfills. The average life of a plastic bag is about 20 min- utes and it takes over 50 million years to decom- pose, if it ever does. by Bani Kaur Camp Auroville 2014
  • 20. Issue: -The Lalit, New Delhi get most of its energy through non-renewable sources - High costs of using non-renewable sources of energy -The Lalit does not focus on any eco-friendly method of sourcing energy -The hotels basic means of fuelling the day to day energy needs would have to change towards renewables. What will I do? - Device a detailed action plan for the Lalit that considers energy conservation and efficiency measures as well as the installation of renewables energy systems.. Outcome: -The hotel would get renewably energy which if publicised can be good for business -The Lalit Group would end up spending less on energy by Rohan Desai 17 Camp Auroville 2014 About Auroville Green Practices Auroville Green Practices aims to bring together various stakeholders to envision future townships that offer a habitat that is ecologically, socially and economically nurturing. About EdBrand EdBrand is an education consultancy firm that provides one-on-one mentoring to high school and college students. It also designs experiential learning programs on urbanism and social entre- preneurship in various cities in India. Renewable Energy for The Lalit Hotel
  • 21. “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” - W.H. Murray (The Scottish Himalayan Expedition)