The experimental Indian town of Auroville has become a noted source of fascination over recent years. Auroville was designed around principles of no money or government. The town has attracted a high level of interest recently, with social experimentation being on the rise and more and more people rejecting the principles of globalisation and capitalism. The community of Auroville was actually founded way back in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, who collaborated with Roger Anger to create a galaxy-shaped city built to inspire other communities into living more harmoniously.
Auroville – The City of Dawn
Auroville is also known as ‘the City of Dawn’ and was built on themes of sustainable living, peace and harmony. The community consists of people from across the world ignoring boundaries of colour and nationality. The cash-free town has divided opinion, with many onlookers noting that affluent Westerners relocating to Auroville actually require a great deal of money to begin their new, simpler and less materialistic lives – more cash than most Indians will ever see, in fact. Many Western residents have been accused of self-indulgence, though the community’s defenders emphasise what they see as its vast spiritual benefits. The population of Auroville stands at around 2,300, and its residents hail from over forty different countries. The town was actually designed to support 50,000 people. It’s said that around 5,000 visitors can usually be found in the town. During its first twenty years, the town’s population stood at a mere 400 approximately. In May 2016, there were 47 Brits living in Auroville.
How the town operates
The City of Dawn residents spend their days collaborating on projects related to education, farming, renewable energy and IT. The Indian Government contributes more than $200,000 to the community every year. The town produces all of its own energy and food, with half of Auroville receiving power via solar panels. Despite the town’s harmonious ambitions, crime remains a problem in the town. Crimes including robbery, sexual harassment and murder have regularly been reported. Purchases are usually made with an Aurocard, yet some businesses continue to ask for cash. Nonetheless, the town’s greatest achievements include free education, striking architecture such as the somewhat iconic Matrimandir and its ongoing success in organic farming.