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About us

As a resident of this bio-region, I value deeply the hard work of this organisation for the empowerment of the marginalised. Its need-based approach is commendable.
Venkatachalam, Headteacher, Periyamudaliarchavadi Village

About AVAG

Our participatory development mission, emphasizes empowering communities and groups to build a better future for all. Our collaborative efforts enable them to address the challenges they face and to build a harmonious, secure, and resilient society.

Who We Serve

As an organisation committed to inclusive development, our stakeholders in the communities include women, men, youth, school children, teachers, farmers and both, traditional and elected leaders. The most marginalized such as single women, elderly, dalits, farmers, artisans and small business owners are our primary target groups. We assist the communities to define their own needs and design solutions, based on a deep understanding and collaborative effort.


Approaches and strategy



Working with people from all classes, religions, castes, and regions of society



Emphasising on overall development of both individuals and the communities, we serve.



Supporting the communities to build on their strengths and to go beyond any personal and collective limitations.



Offering tools for the communities to lead their own development.

By promoting solidarity and cooperation, we aim to counter issues which underlie the traditional social and economic structures of the villages and communities we work with.


By strengthening linkages with Auroville, the government and other institutions, we tend to create comprehensive development programs for the communities we serve. Being an outreach wing of Auroville, we are in a unique position to facilitate positive exchange between rural communities and global citizens. The strengths of these combined communities can help overcome the limitations of both groups and progress towards the development of the bioregion. We collaborate with various government departments, units in Auroville, NGOs and development networks, and we partner with various community based organizations like the Udhayam Women Federation, women and men’s groups, PAALAM youth network, ABSCA, and the leaders and the teachers in the communities.


AVAG's Journey

1983 - 1988

AVAG was established in 1983 by Dee Decew aka Bhavana, as part of the Co-evolution collective initiative. This group consisted of dedicated Aurovilians who shared a common interest in the sustainable development of villages surrounding Auroville. AVAG initiated several programs, including evening schools, women's and men's groups, and the Trickle-up program, which aimed to support small businesses in the villages.

1988 -1993

AVAG attracted a small team of dedicated social workers, and adopted the participatory rural development approach to drive sustainable development in the region. Funded by OXFAM, AVAG trained the local youth in development initiatives, enabling them to become active participants in community-led development efforts. AVAG successfully executed government projects and small infrastructure improvement projects in the villages. Funded by Secours Populaire in France, evening schools were built with the participation of the communities, and daycare centers were started in two neighboring villages.

1993 -1998

The grant received from CHEC-ODA facilitated the expansion of AVAG's area of operation. This enabled new initiatives such as the 'Woman Power Project' and the 'Financial Inclusion project'. The number of evening schools increased and women's and men's clubs were established in the villages. Community centers were built and infrastructure improvement projects were implemented. The unique inter-caste exchange program started and AVAG celebrated the Women's Festival for the first time in our working area.

1998 - 2003

The project from DFID, enabled an increase in the number of activities offered, and the construction of the AVAG office as a resource center. The Primary Education Project was implemented to support government schools in our working area. The inter-caste exchange program got strengthened and in 2000, the Udhayam Women's Federation was formed. A legal and counseling center was set up to bring justice to marginalized individuals. AVAG successfully executed government housing and SGSY schemes in the area. The organization received a grant from German Government to establish a revolving fund for women's groups, and to upgrade the resource center.

2003 - 2008

AVAG had to discontinue its children-related activities due to the financial crisis. The Woman Power Project survived, thanks to the support of the Udhayam Women's Federation. AVAG collaborated with the Auroville Coastal Development Center and the government to provide relief and rehabilitation efforts after the Tsunami. Additionally, AVAG executed various government-supported livelihood projects for women's groups. .

2008 - 2013

Continued to work with the government and ACDC for Tsunami relief and rehabilitation. Psychosocial support which includes counseling, and training in therapies like somatic experiencing, energy healing, and de-addiction, was started in response to the need in our area. The support of a friend in Auroville, helped us to repair the houses of the neediest. The beginning of the government-funded SEDAB project for promoting livelihood and entrepreneurship and the “Combat of poverty by micro-credits to women self-help groups” project to set up the revolving fund for women with the funding support of BMZ, Germany, Women’s Federation, and Auroville International. Improved the water situation in the villages with the Plan Grant of the government of India received through Auroville.

2013 - 2018

The Udhayam Women's Federation with 5000 members in 300 women's groups was registered under the Societies Registration Act. The SEDAB project continued till 2016 to benefit 210 people in eight enterprises. The AVVAI-RF project, “Financial Support for the Education of Poor Girl Students” was established to support the education of the girls associated with the women’s groups. Beginning of the summer camp program at AVAG. Initiated the Paalam network, and Auroville Bio-regional Sports and Cultural Organisation (ABSCA), an initiative to promote sports and culture in the communities and the birth of the social enterprise, called AVAL.

2018 - 2023

Women got professional training to play Kbaddi and training in sports for women and men. Collaborative pandemic education and relief initiatives were carried out for two years to benefit 20 000 families. Various initiatives to support the health and well-being of the communities. AVAL introduced men's wear and collections for children. Emphasised arts among children and sports for women. Initiated the 'Millet For All' project to support millet growers and to promote the millets in the communities. Carried out a project to enhance the conditions of women in the villages around Auroville

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