Tuesday, June 24, 2008

CHEC has supported Auroville for over twenty years and will continue to do so

Home > Response to BBC broadcast - CHEC
COMMONWEALTH HUMAN ECOLOGY COUNCIL

Mr. Mark Thompson
Director General BBC Television Centre Wood Lane Shepherds Bush
W12 7RJ 12 th June 2008

Dear Mr. Thompson,

The Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC) has seen the rebuttals contained on the Auroville website against charges levelled in the BBC2 Newsnight programme on 21 May 2008 and BBC World on 24 May 2008. These can be seen on www.auroville.org .

CHEC's Executive Committee considered the matter at its meeting on Wednesday 11 June 2008 and fully endorsed the official statement issued by the Working Committee of Auroville, the text of the letter dated 2 June 2008 from Dr. Karan Singh, Chairman of the Auroville Foundation, to yourself, and the letter sent by the Chairman of the Auroville International Advisory Council, Sir Mark Tully, and other co-signatories, to Mr. Peter Barron, Editor of Newsnight.

The CHEC Executive Committee welcomes the steps that are being taken by Auroville to fully investigate these allegations. CHEC recommends that Auroville establish a procedure to ensure transparency and accountability of its dealings with any allegations of impropriety against its residents or guests, including appointment of an independent person or organization of good standing in the area to hear any such allegations and ensure they are dealt with promptly.

CHEC has supported Auroville for over twenty years and will continue to do so, subject to Auroville addressing these recommendations. CHEC was pleased to learn that such processes are already under consideration and would urge that these be set up as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Eleanor Morris Dame Zena Daysh , CNZM
Chairman of the CHEC Executive Committee Executive Vice-Chair & Founding Member of CHEC
Cc Mr Peter Barron, Editor of Newsnight Sir Mark Tully, Chairman of Auroville International Advisory Council
International Headquarters
Church House, Newton Road , London W2 5LS
T el: +44 (0) 207 792 5934 Fax: +44 (0) 207 792 5948 E-mail:
chec@btopenworld.com
Website: http://www.checinternational.org
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Home > Response to BBC broadcast - Auroville Village Action Trust
31 May 2008

To the Editor

We have seen an article and a documentary on Auroville aired by you (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7417864.stm)

We, Ambu Siromani and A Gerald Moris, have been working as social workers and program coordinators in the Auroville Village Action Trust (AVAT) for the past 20 years. Our main job is to stimulate activities and development in villages around Auroville mostly through self-help groups. So we can honestly say that we have a fairly good knowledge of what is going on in our area.

We were shocked to hear insinuations in your program as if there were large-scale children abuses by Aurovilians. We can testify that there is no such a thing, and that on the contrary Aurovilian authorities have taken swift action on the very few occasions when such misconduct came to light.

We should also add that Auroville has created and is managing many schools for the villages, which definitely benefit the local population a great deal. To slander those institutions, as your documentary tried to do, is in effect to harm these villagers and their children.

Therefore we request you to stop airing this programme and to remove it from your website with immediate effect.
Regards,
Ambu Siromani A. Gerald Moris

I hereby certify that Mrs Ambu Siromani and Mr A. Gerald Moris, Indian citizens residing at Puducherry, have been working as social workers and program coordinators in Auroville Village Action Trust since 1988. AVAT is working in more than 50 villages around Auroville.

Alain Bernard
Trustee, AVAT ( Auroville Village Action Trust)

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