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    A residential workshop at Auroville lets you explore sustainable living through fun activities, ice-breaking theatre sessions and walking tours

    WHILE the city bustles with summer students programmes ranging from art and cooking to sailing and dancing, Auroville Green Practices, an initiative of Auroville Consulting (the business unit of the Auroville Foundation), brings you Camp Auroville— a well-being workshop especially designed for teenagers (16 to 19), but with an ecological twist. With residents from over 49 nations,   Auroville is the perfect platform to showcase a model experimental township and its experience in sustainable living.  Taking place every June, the first edition of the camp in 2014 had trained a diverse group of 20 high school students from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai in ecological conservancy.
    Learning from nature
    A member of the organising team of Camp Auroville, Jacob Manteuffel, says, “This a one-of-a-kind learning programme for this age group. In this nine day workshop, high school students and recent graduates are encouraged to explore and imbibe ecological values, through a combination of hands-on experience and system thinking.” With a degree from Germany, in environmental protection, Manteuffel further shares that they hope to empower young students to understand the principles of environmental sustainability and apply them in day to day life, thereby producing a new generation of environmental leaders. The participants will also be introduced to independent residential living, preparing them for college life. Limited to 25 students, expect interactive sessions on all days about subjects such as sustainable water management, organic food production, renewable energy systems, sustainable waste management, and green architecture.
    On the field
    Their urban farming programme is a hands-on group activity, where participants can design, implement and document a small urban farm in Pitanga, a community center within Auroville. The focus would be on visiting the site, determining the needs of the heritage center, designing the farming layout, identifying the crop pattern, installation of water system, building raised beds, and finally planting fruit trees and vegetable saplings. The camp also features outdoor activities like guided bicycle and walking tours to places like the Pebbles Garden, International Zone and the Buddha Garden. Besides theatre-based ice-breakers that are held on a regular basis, the students are also trained in capoeira, a form of martial arts, by experts. Though this workshop is usually held once a year, it can be organised multiple times on personal request from student groups. Watch out for their  three-week summer school for students of architecture and young professionals, coming up this July.

    From June 21-29, at Rs 38,000 per student, inclusive of accommodation and food. Last date for registration is June 14. Details: agpworkshops.com

    Mani Prabhu

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