Life Education Center
Devi says it is a calling.
She used to be a software engineer in California and went from a hectic work routine to going back and forth from Auroville to Berkeley. After feeling disgusted by a money-ruled world and missing being connected to nature, she decided to move permanently to Auroville and work with the people of Tamil Nadu. She founded the Life Education Center, a program that educates women and seeks to empower them, make them independent and proud. The program has a holistic approach, meaning their ways evolve depending on the people they work with. The program helps women develop their mind, body, spirituality and their will to learn as well as want more in life. It makes them conscious human beings. The program offers different levels and types of schooling. They hold weekly meetings where women can talk freely about everything and anything. These meetings constitute a safe space in which women can get peer support and relief.
In the last 25 years, India experienced a big cultural shift. Traditions used to be carried through generations and had a very important in society. However, lately, rituals became a way to show-off. People started borrowing money at very high interest rates to throw grand ceremonies, that is why LEC focuses a lot on making women financially independent so they can support themselves and their families. They offer a lot of different classes such as yoga, ayurvedic healing, yoga for menstruation problems, zen tangling (music, drawing and meditation), basic geography, cooking work-shops, sari work-shops and hand decorations. The goal is for these women to expand their knowledge and curiosity. However, since these women go to these classes and workshops, it raises a question of time and work/personal life balance. How do they manage to make a living and realize themselves? That is the matter Devi is trying to solve with them. These women then manage to go to classes, work and be women by themselves in a society that is still prevalently masculine and patriarchal.