Auroville, India: Building a Conscious & Sustainable Land

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I remember it like it was yesterday.
After extensive research, countless hours of writing essays and sorting out my finances, the time had come to make a decision about Grad-School. It pretty much came down to one distinguishable course none of the other universities could offer than The American University of Paris: a one-month Sustainable Development Practicum in India.

I have always believed that the future of our planet relies on people who understand the importance of nature, our environment, and those who have a true sense of compassion towards others.

As an activist, I believe that in order to make a difference, we need to educate people and educate ourselves. I have always known that knowledge is power; so learning the fundamentals of communications and understanding the development, transformations and challenges on today’s globalization is fundamental to me as a professional and as an individual.

It has been over two weeks since I first arrived to India and I have learned so much already from this wonderful country. Visiting over 28 organizations in Auroville the first ten days was not as easy as I had imagined. Between the jet lag, the extensive days and witnessing so much poverty and misery was physically and emotionally draining.

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I have always felt very alone on my journey to a conscious and responsible way of living. In India, I don’t feel this way. The city of Auroville is one of the first conscious communities in the world and I get to live here for one month. Auroville is also known for its high spiritual vibration and the creation of eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable projects. People here truly care about making a better and more sustainable world for themselves and future generations. Their passion is fascinating and contagious.

During my time in India I’ve learned about the astounding variety in virtually every aspect of social life. Diversities of ethnic, linguistic, regional, economic, and religious groups make India a mystical and captivating country. Indian society also has an immense urban-rural differences and gender distinctions, and as a result from this, most of the projects that were presented to us were projects that had been developed in the past 30 years as response to social, environmental and structural issues in Pondicherry and Auroville.

I have always been involved with animal rights organizations, but I must acknowledge that becoming familiar with projects in the areas of education, women empowerment, sustainable and ethical fashion, waste management and sustainable economics was fascinating as well as awe-inspiring.

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The perception of life after meeting people less fortunate than us can only make us more humble and appreciative for what we have in life. These people despite their economic situation strive to give back, to truly create change and impact people’s lives in a constructive manner. Getting to know them and work with them to communicate their mission is a real privilege.

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– Daniela Moreno

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