"AuraPuri" - In Depth Introduction

A serious Proposal for a Model Village in Khajuraho - the Heart of India

(For now a proposal only...)

Depiction of Traditional Living in Tribal India
The spiral is an essential symbol used in traditional wedding rituals in certain regions of India

Notice the spiral used in a wedding ceremony
in front of the horse's feet
used prior to the groom entering the wedding hall

The “AuraPuri Social Initiative” is a comprehensive plan (started in December 2010) to plan and build an ideal and futuristic model village and ecological enclave (approx. 99 acres) that provides all the necessary elements in abundance to have its inhabitants acquire:
  • Integral physical, mental and spiritual well-being,
  • All-round education from Kindergarten to University levels,
  • The acquisition of an extensive set of effective and efficient practical-life skills,
  • Individual independence and self reliance,
  • Self-respect, self-confidence,
  • Respect for all fellow human beings,
  • Tolerance and openness to all cultures and religions,
  • Personal and social responsibility,
  • Personal financial responsibility and responsible money management techniques,
  • People skills and insight in one’s own behaviour,
  • Self-control and compassionate intercourse with all fellow human beings.
  • Behavioural attitudes that promote gender equality,
  • Sensitivity to ecological requirements of tidiness, cleanliness and beauty,
    o from tilling the land,
    o to planting, harvesting, tending and caring for cattle,
    o food preparation, clean-up,
    o laundry and washing, personal hygiene,
    o building and maintaining shelter,
    o proper use of and maintenance of machinery, vehicles and other equipment,
    o proper handling of electric and electronic devices,
    o computer work,
    o manufacturing skills, etc.

 Village Layout

Infra Structure and Urban/Rural Features:
  • Bodhi Tree, Fountain and Water Feature,
  • A central park consisting of three circular areas:
    o playground, sports, open air yoga activities, dance, music performance,
    o gathering place and cafeteria,
    o library, reading, board games,
  • A spiral grid of triple parallel roads radiating outwards, along which traditional style cob or mud houses will be built by the inhabitants themselves.
  • Three parallel spiral roads embedded with: 
    o In-ground electrical power lines fed by a solar energy powered battery system,
    o An underground water line supplying purified potable water,
    o An underground water line supplying reclaimed waste water for toilet flushing,
    o An underground and fully covered sewage/effluent pipe system
    o A sewage treatment facility to produce cooking gas and fertilizer.

Examples of traditional housing.

Income areas:
  • Education
  • Health-care
  • Administration and Accounting
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Cottage Industries
  • Farming
  • Forestry (Silviculture)
  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture (vegetable, herbs)
  • Retail Shops
  • Bakery

Considerations, Concerns and Resolutions in support of the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”

(The following list of "Considerations, Concerns and Resolutions" is a much extended version of the list that was part of the original petition that was submitted to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.)

We feel strengthened by the resolutions that issue from the following considerations and concerns:

1. “Moving to the big city?” or "Moving back to the country?" or "Staying in the Country?"
Whereas it is acknowledged that many young males have moved to, are planning to move to, or did move temporarily to the big cities (New Delhi, Mumbai, Rishikesh, Goa, etc.) in order to find better paying employment...
And whereas many of those migration attempts instead lead to domestic, financial and social situations of which the quality was less or even worse than the situation that was left behind...
And whereas overpopulation in the bigger cities with its accompanying defects and dys-functionality is not helping to realize and fulfill the expectations of the young migrant:

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”:
  • That "AuraPuri" provides a realistic workable solution that will decrease the need for migration to overpopulated cities by providing a living, working and learning environment "in the country" in which young people can be meaningfully employed while acquiring a standard of living that provides financial, social, economic and ecologic advantages that are less available elsewhere,
  • That the result of migration "back to the country" will help to relieve the stresses placed on the larger and more densely populated areas of India.
2. “Going after the tourists." (A typical tourist town problem)
Whereas it is acknowledged by many youthful and mature citizens of Khajuraho and district, that the current tourism industry in Khajuraho is not served well by the very often overactive, often bothersome and sometimes harassing attention that many tourists are experiencing from an overabundance of under-employed or unemployed local people (from very young to rather advanced in age) when tourists visit our beautiful town for their cultural enjoyment and relaxation...

     Be it resolved that by proposing, initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative” that:
  •  Many under-employed and unemployed youths and adults, as well as many other youths and adults working in the tourist trade but with little prospect of gaining a socially and culturally enriched life, or making a good living, will be helped to overcome their challenged future. 
  • This social initiative will offer them:
    o A new and protective living environment, “away from the street”,
    o A new honourable, healthy and wholesome living environment in which extensive education and training will be provided not only for mental development but also for responsible personal and social growth,
    o An environment in which they will also be taught concrete physical and meaningful skills for living a meaningful honest, honourable, respectful and culturally rich life.
3. “Khajuraho - A one trick act.”
Whereas it is evident and acknowledged by us and other concerned citizens of this region, that in spite of the many positive efforts to overcome it, that Khajuraho is still basically a single interest tourist town with a very focused and thus limited stream of target tourists…

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative” that this plan will help to:
  • Increase the length of hotel stays by tourists,
  • Stimulate repeat visits which will overcome currently low room-occupation rates,
  • Increase visits through very cost effective “word of mouth” advertising,
  • Increase the attention span of tourists, which will help them to more easily overcome “tourist fatigue”,
  • Diversify and widen the scope of interesting things to be enjoyed by our current target tourist and visitors,
  • Provide Khajuraho with a different stream of target tourists:
    o environmentally and ecologically concerned global citizens,
    o urban renewal planners,
    o constructive social renewal activists,
    o organic farming, agricultural and horticultural promoters,
    o recycling specialists,
4. “Waste going to waste” and “Just throw it!”
Whereas it is acknowledged that in spite of intense effort to keep our city clean and well-swept, we still hear too many remarks about how basically unkempt and un-green our beautiful city still appears to visitors from The West and the Orient…
And whereas it is acknowledged that “Litter” is an “all India” problem…
And whereas it is observed that “waste still goes to waste” all too frequently, as it also harms India’s fragile but improving water and waste-water management system…

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative” that:
  • This plan, in its earliest stages of development, will start an intensive and very novel program to help the citizens to adopt “clean, tidy and beautiful environment” attitudes.
  • A specialized new technology will be developed to fabricate, produce and nationally distribute, a new cutting edge litterbin: the “GlitterBin”. This “GlitterBin” will motivate everyone, from very young to very old, to abandon their “just throw it” attitudes.
  • The “AuraPuri” technological section will fabricate this apparatus and will provide employment to many local people.
  • Visitors from around India will come to Khajuraho to see how this litter problem is being resolved in a surprising but very attractive and novel manner.
5. “Going after the money”, “Money is the Name of the Game.”
Whereas it is acknowledged that very poor money management attitudes prevail amongst many of the local people and most of the teenage local youths…
And whereas it is observed that amongst the local people a very complicated and almost irresolvable problem of mutual debt exists …
And whereas it is acknowledged that when “Money is the Name of the Game” that only produces a vicious cycle of “winners and losers” who each are going through unending cycles of winning and losing…

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”:
  • That intensive and extensive training will be provided to help cure the debt problem,
  • To help abandoning improper money handling practices,
  • To teach budgeting skills,
  • To promote money saving attitudes,
  • To create an integral program to help youngsters to use money wisely and responsibly,
  • To create, within the village limits of “AuraPuri”, a ”personal credits” system that involves no printed or coined money at all. (According to Sri Aurobindo’s Auroville model in Pondicherry.)
6. “It’s is all going up in smoke”, “Alcohol, smoking and drug abuse.”
Whereas it is acknowledged that drinking, smoking and drug use is very dangerous to the health of our citizens and especially to our children…
And whereas it acknowledged that hidden drinking and “secret” smoking is rampant…
And whereas it is acknowledged that these negative attitudes all too frequently result in domestic physical abuse, outside street-fighting and loud verbal disturbances …
And whereas it is observed that amongst the local people a very complicated and almost irresolvable problem exist of mutual debt…

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”:
  • That within the limits of the “AuraPuri” model village that no alcohol, tobacco of any sort, or any other addictive product or stimulant will be tolerated.
  • That anybody who is wishing, willing and resolute in their effort to abandon their addictive behaviour, is very welcome to freely attend “AuraPuri’s” hospital and clinic facilities to enter and participate in intensive healing programs, delivered by the best counsellors available in this field of “curing the illnesses of the mind.”
7. “Gender Equality.”
Whereas it is acknowledged (and unfortunately too easily observed) that “gender equality” is largely inadequate…
And whereas it can be concluded that this type of inequality is based on a dysfunctional system of “power and fear”, “punishment and reward”, as well as outdated traditional values and “now irrelevant” habitual modes of social behaviour, morals and attitudes …

    Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”:
  • That within the model village of “AuraPuri” extensive and intensive work will be undertaken by means of  study and focus groups to undo this denial the basic human right of equality among the sexes.
  • Participation in these re-educating study groups will be compulsive to every inhabitant.
8. “Laziness of mind and body”, “Poor work ethics.”
Whereas it is acknowledged (and all too easily observed) that laziness of body and mind, as well as inadequate, insufficient and poor work ethic is widely evident...

     Be it resolved that by initiating and realizing the “AuraPuri Social Initiative”
  • That within the model village of “AuraPuri, it will compulsive for every inhabitant:
  • To daily do a minimum of four hours of relevant and useful studies,
  • Depending on the “AuraPuri’s” needs of the day and the individual skill levels of each inhabitant, (for those fifteen years of age and older) to daily perform a minimum of four hours of relevant and  meaningful work: technological industrial, cottage, manufacturing, agricultural, forestry, horticultural, etc.
  • Depending on the cultural needs of each inhabitant a minimum of four hours will be spend in recreational activities such as music, dance, sports, reading, arts, etc.)
  • Those who, after a set period of time of their stay (at their graduation) in “AuraPuri”, wish to leave, will at the end of their stay (“graduation”) be provided with the necessary monetary means to take on a successful, respectable, honourable, socially and culturally enriched life:
  • Monetary requirements of marriage (if so wished) will be taken care of.
  • Start-up money for a new business will be taken care of.
  • Down payment money for purchasing a house outside of AuraPuri will be taken care of.
  • Each “AuraPuri” Inhabitant will be required to keep exact, honest and fair records (e-logbook) of their work and study and recreational efforts. These records will be used in a system that keeps track everyone’s “personal credits”. Based on their accumulated “personal credits” housing, clothing and food will provided. (According to Sri Aurobindo’s Auroville “no printed or coined money” model in Pondicherry.)
Khajuraho, M.P. India.
15 January 2011
"Maker Sankranti"

No comments: