Yesterday was real rain, I mean, just heavy rain like during the monsoon… except that the monsoon was supposed to be in October and November, and it is not supposed to rain at all in March!!!
Well, well, I guess we have to get used to these climate change obvious signs, here too…
But I still have more to say about February, some important events of another kind, which I didn’t mention yet.
Two messages that I got published in our internal weekly newsletter will give, the first one, the gist of what happened, and the second one, written at the very end of February, what my deeper response has been, that had kept growing in me for quite a while already before, and then found its outer expression in the form of a proposal.
Here are the two texts:
Latest news from Repos – both good, and rather discouraging…
Repos is reviving steadily, the Aurovilians and Guests who come are very happy – and they say it – with the full day service we are now offering again daily (except Mondays), and with what we offer. But to regain the capacity to cover monthly the expenses of running the place, our only means of income being our humble Guest-House, we need absolutely to have again enough Guest-Huts to respond to the (big) demand. In order to rebuild at least some of the huts destroyed by cyclone or erosion, we need a loan from Auroville.
In the N&N of 22 December 2012, the FAMC report blamed it on us that nothing was happening; they didn’t mention that they had never even replied to our email asking for an urgent meeting of all the Groups concerned. That report was the first official news we ever got from them (indirectly), and nothing from the other Groups. Only the Auroville Council, bless them, did answer, and received us, and gave us their approval after hearing our plans. But the financial means were not in their power to decide upon, we would have to wait for the FAMC for that. With some members of the Repos Support Group (so, their names are actually known already…) I approached someone from the FAMC, but still he wouldn’t simply reiterate our unanswered request to the FAMC as a whole, he said we had to do it. We found that insistence surprising and unfair, so we haven’t yet complied with it.
In the meantime, though, the Financial Authorities of Auroville haven’t remained inactive: knowing fully well that without my phone and internet connection I cannot communicate with the potential Guests who email me, nor use the Aurocard device, nor enter the monies received from Guests or anyone who pays for the food through their accounts, nor monitor the various accounts that are under my responsibility, nor keep a normal contact with all the people involved one way or the other with the work here, the Financial Authorities have simply ordered my phone and internet line to be cut. I just discovered that yesterday, when contacting the Telephone Service. No warning, no prior communication with me, nothing – and I had actually paid my bill; I always manage to keep the minus on that account stable, not increasing (I do pay the bill, if late) and I have always covered the minus after a while, just a matter of a few months. Some of the other temporary minuses on other accounts are already being covered as well, which shows clearly enough that things are going positively, and as we are in full Guest Season, the income is likely to be all right in the end … if only we are not in the meantime slowly and discretely strangled to death in that incredible way by the very authorities that should be expected to help us be in full health again.
(In the second text, down below, the quote "a concrete human unity" is from the last paragraph of the Auroville Charter written by the Mother) 28.2.2013: TOWARDS 'A CONCRETE HUMAN UNITY' In this dawn of our 45th Birthday, a prayer rises in me: that in this year till our next Birthday, we as a collective body find ways to eradicate poverty in Auroville. We must reform our internal system to make sure everybody among us who needs help gets the help they need. It is not acceptable that more and more huge mansions and personal palaces are built on Auroville land by those who have the money to do so, while others, just as worthy Aurovilians, working since years for Auroville, are unable to repair their roofs or finish the humble house they are trying to build for themselves and their family: they are simply told that they must 'manage' - that is, they are officially abandoned. Our administrative organization is getting more and more complex, an intricate maze. Some people feel at home and at ease in the Town Hall, but to many others it is a dreadful, impenetrable fortress full of confusing offices with wildly varying timings that force you to come again and again. In the light particularly of the warnings kindly given to us by the Mother - for example about not multiplying endlessly the departments and offices, as "it complicates life"-, here is a PROPOSAL FOR A 'POAVA' ('People-Oriented Auroville Administration'): I feel we should create a new kind of job, some Auroville-maintained 'Administrative Helpers': Aurovilians well versed in all the administrative rules and regulations and ways of doing things, whom any other Aurovilian could call upon for help whenever needed, at home or when obliged to go to some office in Auroville; there are now so many of them, and not all centrally located, nor with the same timings, the 'Helpers' would explain where to go, whom to see, if needed would come along with you and even speak for you if you prefer. You would never feel alone facing administrative authorities who may not know you personally, or may not treat you in the right way. I hoped for a while that the Group renamed a few years ago 'Human Resources' would be playing that special role I am thinking of for the 'Helpers'; but with the incredible limitations in responsibilities, funding and decision-making that this Group presently has, its members, even when they would like to help, are condemned to be practically unable to do anything at all. So (unless this Group can soon be much enlarged in its scope and possibilities), it would have to be those 'Administrative Helpers' who would make sure you are all right, each of them looking after a certain number of Aurovilians who would have chosen him or her as Helper: s/he would come to your own home to meet you and learn about your real-life situation as a whole (not piecemeal like in each office), including any difficulties you might currently be facing. S/he would then proceed to help you solve those difficulties, if necessary solving them for you altogether without your needing to do anything for it yourself: if you are sick, or already too busy doing your real work for Auroville, how can you be expected to do on top of it all the administrative stuff supposed to be done??? Not everyone in Auroville has a secretary, or the computer equipment and expertise for the emails, PDFs and what not that are now, mind you, the only form of communication accepted in some of our own offices; even when the problem is simple and one finally reaches the right desk at the right time, normal communication may be refused, ordinary letters written on real paper being shunned and discarded, and oral explanations as well, whatever the urgency of the matter: only through an email will the problem be at all recorded and the needed follow-up started. Every Aurovilian, including those on just a basic maintenance, seems to be expected not only to have a phone line and internet, always functioning well, but to be themselves perpetually in good health and driving a vehicle perpetually in good condition too. The special 'free transportation' supposed to be there for the senior Aurovilians has such a meagre budget and is available only at such unrealistic conditions as to make it practically a mirage, giving you only the illusory hope of a free transportation it cannot actually cover. As for the health fund, it expects you, however sick, to be able to collect all your medical bills and present them to their office within the short validity time-period, or they will not be reimbursed; taxi or auto bills are not accepted: apparently you are supposed to be driving your own vehicle also while being sick, or in great, incapacitating pain. An ambulance must be out of the question too, I suppose, even if your condition requires it; in case on that point at least I am wrong, how happy I will be to learn that ambulances costs are in fact reimbursed!... This brings me to a terrible inner dilemma: should we really spend 17 lakhs on building a place that would be used merely to refrigerate for a few days the dead bodies of those Aurovilians who have recently left those physical bodies? Can't we in Auroville give more importance, in our thoughts and feelings, to the departing spirit of those who have passed on, rather than to their decaying bodies? Wouldn't the same amount of money be more usefully spent for providing instead the physical bodies of some aging or sick Aurovilians with the added comfort of air-conditioning, for example, at least in one room of their own home... while they are still alive??? It is very nice to celebrate in the AV News old-timers and other special participants in the great adventure of Auroville; but why wait after they are dead? Whereas while they were still physically with us, no official recognition or assistance has been extended to them at all, but too often the contrary? How many may have had a longer and happier life here if only some real help from Auroville would have warded off in time the cancer or heart-attack they finally succumbed to? Wouldn't it be great, when sometimes you need it, to be well taken care of in that way, by 'Helpers' who will have chosen to do that work because they will love doing it, love helping you that way? Is that too much to ask for in a place like Auroville?... A 'concrete human unity'. I know already at least two truly helpful Aurovilians I would myself immediately choose (they happen to be two ladies), who would qualify perfectly for that job, and there are surely others... Please contact me (9443362328) if you like the idea. Let's start soon!!!