Auroville – also known as the “City of the Dawn” – is an international city in South India founded in 1968. Currently, it has 2,800 citizens from 54 countries, with the capacity to grow to 50,000 citizens.
Auroville is a “collective experiment in human unity” based on the worldview of Indian yogi Sri Aurobindo. The idea is if people from all cultures and castes can learn love each other in Auroville, maybe the rest of the world can follow suit.
The township was created with support from the Indian government, UNESCO and well-wishers around the world, but is becoming more and more self-sufficient over time.
In Auroville there is no individual ownerhip of land, housing or businesses. Everyone is given a basic living “maintenance,” whether they work for one of the commercial units, doing community service or are unable to work.
When they go to the store, they take what they need, tell the clerk their account number and it’s deducted from the Central Fund.
It’s an economy designed to serve humanity, rather than the other way around, Aurovillians say.
“We give our work, and we are given what we need,” says citizen Jean-Yves Lung in the documentary below. “It’s very simple. If you give your work, and you are happy to give it, you don’t need money to evaluate the quality of your giving. We can still be productive, creative, innovative, and what happens is people discover that they feel better. We take what we need and that’s it.”
Read the whole article by Sara Burrows in Return to Now.