School students tidy Kuilapalayam as part of Auroville’s birthday celebrations

Auroville celebrated its 46 birthday on Friday. There were many of the usual celebrations, including the early morning bonfire and a meditation in the evening at the Matri Mandir.

In addition, this year the students of the various schools in Auroville decided to give something back to society by organising a massive clean up at Kuilapalayam.

Auroville’s birthday is normally an occasion to remember The Mother and be grateful for what she has done for society. This year, we thought we would do something different and clean up Kuilapalayam. Following weeks of planning, the cleanup event took shape, one of the volunteers said.

The programme started off at 7 in the morning, with a large group of students from the New Era Secondary School, Aikiyam, TLC, and other students assembling at Marc’s Café.

The group then proceeded to pick up garbage from around the area. The exercise drew so much attention from the crowd that several people on bikes and cars stopped and helped the volunteers clean up the area.

“Although many of the shops and organisations around Kuilapalayam take care to keep their surroundings clean, with the increasing number of people coming in to the area, the garbage has increased in recent years. This cleanup was just the starting point, with many more events being planned in the future to help raise awareness on the need for cleanliness,” Selvaraj Damotharan from NESS said.

Earlier, I didn’t care about garbage either and was very careless about how I used plastics, but now that I have learnt the problems that plastics and other non-biodegradable plastics create, I am very careful. I want the rest of the society to realise what they are doing. The rest of the students who were involved in the exercise will be meeting on Saturday to try and come up with an action plan to clean up the surroundings on a regular basis, Murugaveni one of the students said.

The group are also planning a bigger event for Independence Day, but the details of what they will be doing are still being sorted out, Kavitha, an organiser said.

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