drawing of building and sports ground
It has been a dream come true to start the development of a multifunctional learning centre and sports ground on land given by Auroville Foundation for the purpose of developing activities for villagers. We have been operating educational services in the villages surrounding Auroville since 2006 in temporary, either rented or pro bono premises, we are now establishing a permanent home as a stable base for our projects to serve Annai Nagar and other villages. The development in 2 phases, the first will be ready by August 2020 and will give us a ground floor classroom and open areas plus kitchenette, bathrooms, outdoor study area, sports ground, and play area for small children. The second phase will give us 2 more classrooms and, if fundraising is successful, should be completed by January 2021.
We have a strong commitment to maintaining a low carbon footprint using traditional and compressed earth bricks, rammed earth technology, recycled materials, natural ventilation and light, and compost toilets in order to preserve the water table. Aligned to our commitment to building agency in local youth, we have hired a team from local villages to carry out the work under the supervision of Raman Architects and our own Thamarai project manager Vignesh who is an architect and community worker. Therefore, we are not engaging in the usual way of hiring construction companies but are working with a skilled, local youth contractor and his team so that we give local employment.
The new centre will mean sustainability for our current children and youth education programs and will allow us to develop in other areas such as adult literacy and early childhood development. The new space will build on our Natural Health Education Programmes to Government schools/women groups and alcoholism rehabilitation programmes. As the building is now taking shape, children often stop on their way while pointing and saying “new Thamarai, new Thamarai”. It is giving hope and a renewed energy that is so needed now with the challenges and setbacks that have unfolded due to COVID-19. We want this development to be a platform for the emergence of a thriving, healthy community at its full potential. Mamuthi, one of our youth facilitators share this recently
“My name is Mamuthi. I stand for happiness for myself and others. My first experience with Thamarai began as a student a couple of years ago. I was delighted to be part of Thamarai as a student then and now it has been a great experience to work as a facilitator. When I stepped into Thamarai as a facilitator it gave me such joy and reminded me of my childhood memories. Since the time I have started working with the kids, I have learned many things from them. I really enjoy the way in which we work in Thamarai. This is a great place for children to improve their skills in many different activities. I’m really looking forward to the new building in my village and how it is going to make a change in our village”.
Current stage of development
inauguration tree planting