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100 years after Gandhi landed in Mayavaram...remembering 1st May 1915

I am listed as a speaker to address a meeting to commemorate the 100 years of Gandhiji's visit and address at Mayavaram on 1st May 2015. He spoke of the 4 hypocrisies that he saw at that time - caste discrimination, gender bias, lack of pride in local language and lack of usage of Swadeshi products, particularly the local handloom products. What has changed? We have created several newer forms of castes in this society, making the rules of social upward movement even more difficult, gender insensitiveness has given way to actively perpetrated gender violence, not just the elite our village children too don't want to learn their native language any longer leave alone use it with pride and the entire state wears plastic clothes...if these were practiced as hypocrisy by the elite (leaders) in the midst of freedom struggle, they are practiced as a willful choice by the majority now. 
Ram, 29th April 2015
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Mahatma Gandhi at Mayavaram 1st May 1915,…

Barefoot Academy of Governance initiative in Organic Farming...

30th April 2015: Ram spoke government schemes and organic farming and lifestyle changes needed at the Seminar on Profitable Organic Farming organized by the Barefoot Academy of Governance in Veppur in Perembalur District. Identified as one of the most backward districts of Tamilnadu, the Barefoot Academy is evolving a comprehensive development plan for this block working closely with the district administration and the State Planning Commission.

The initiative started last year and this year there were quite a few organic farmers in the meeting. Perambalur is a district with rich agricultural history but reduced to growing Bt Cotton mostly now. Farmers were convinced of organic farming and many were interested to grow their Cotton using traditional varieties and organic faring practices...

EDI programme announcement on Health Food sector

The Entrpreneurship Development Institute of Tamilnadu has announced a 25 day programme for Entrepreneurs on 'Health Food' Sector. The programme is supported by the Government and the candidates need to pay only for the field visit part of the programme.


Importantly, this time around, it has integrated opportunities around Local, Fresh and Safe Food as part of the Health Food curriculum!

More details regarding the programme are available here.The programme commences end of April.

You can seek further information and apply also by writing to jdwd@editn.in.

Inauguration of Sustainable Livelihood Institute - 25th March 2015

The Sustainable Livelihood Institute was Inaugurated on 25th March 2015

Village Irumbai, 25th March 2015: The Sustainable Livelihood Institute (SLI) was Inaugurated in a simple and elegant ceremony at the beautiful Naicker House in the Irumbai village near Auroville this morning. The event started with a chanting by the Auroville chanting team followed by a beautiful flute recital by a young Aurovillian. Indicating the spirit of the Institute, several young Aurovillians lighted the lamp on one side while the other lamp was lit by senior Aurovillians and Government Officials.



The SLI (as it is shortly called) is a joint venture between the Tamilnadu State Rural Livelihood Mission and the Auroville Foundation set-up to bring in sustainable values and ideas into the thought and actions of the rural livelihood department functionaries. The State government has committed to provide support for construction of a SLI campus in the neighbourhood of the current location and the Auroville Foundation is making available the land for the purpose. 

A short poem of the t…

Seeds, Freedom & Sustainability - An Evening with 3 Inspiring People...

19th March 2015 - Organic Farming movement in India along with several rights movements are the last bastions capable of producing true inspiring leaders in this country. We are fortunate to have three of them together on 19th March 2015 with us.

Details of the Event Below. Please do register for the event here - http://goo.gl/forms/3JYB3VmdxR








 It is often that you get an opportunity to listen to legends walking among us together. Sometimes they don't agree with each other enough to not share a stage, other times, they are too busy being legends to come together for and share. This is a rare opportunity to listen to three of them in one evening. Don't miss the opportunity.

Dr. Sailakshmi of Ekam Foundation is recognized by Government of India with Nari Puraskar...

there are people we meet, who can make themselves unforgettable there are some who can leave a lasting impact and then there are those who touch everyone they come across, to find and be better in themselves  - Dr. Sai is among those truly great persons who can touch and make a better person of whoever she comes to be in touch with...she performs in her daily life what for others is a lifetime work, she creates every moment around her what is a miracle for many, truly she enhances life and this world! in honouring her today, this country celebrates the true power that an unending faith in love and human goodness will and can prevail upon all and this country hasn't lost the capacity to notice and recognize the same!

so proud to have had the privilege of known, worked with this amazing soul. and so happy for her and the amazing family of her young brigade of healers she is building in the Ekam Foundation...love you Sai. keep doing what you do best, this planet needs so much of the heal…

SEDAB visits Chennai...

We get often asked what 'exactly do we do?', it is a difficult question if one is involved in building things that take a long time to manifest in any manner. however, here is something that we are proud to share! Samanvaya has been involved from the stage of conceptualizing, formation, management and trouble shooting of several village level enterprises utilizing the skills, knowledge, network and visibility of Auroville institutions for over 4 years now. some of these women's owned and managed enterprises have become quite successful, details of the same may be found at Sustainable Enterprise Development in Auroville Bio-region. We are proud to share the information that some of these village enterprises will be on display at the Auroville Festival in Chennai during the month of March... Yes, Samanvaya works on creating individual competencies, initiatives and institutions for strengthening rural livelihoods.

Coming up...

remembering Dharamapalji today -

19th February is the Birthday of Sri. Dharampal, the late Gandhian Historian who re-defined the purpose of historical research in India from mere academic discourse to that of a strengthening tool, strengthening the self-image and understanding by Indians of their own past, from their own sources, with their own interpretation; without being intimidated nor defensive about their values and ethos. He practiced and taught us the need for immense faith in the belief and values practiced by the ordinary Indians, often preferred to listen to the local cowherd, village lady and farmer with far more respect than he would listen the 'learned' professors and politicians who visited him whenever they were in the vicinity of his humble kuti at the sevagram ashram. He maintained that the uniqueness of Gandhiji was that he had trust in the wisdom of the ordinary Indians and gave examples of how Gandhiji embarked on salt satyagraha or chose charkha because these were issues that were brought…

Programme this week...