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Shakti Vihar
  1. Introduction
  2. Special features
  3. Main activities taking place in Shakti Vihar
  4. Dispensary


 Shakti Vihar centre, which was constructed with the funds raised by The Committees in Europe was inaugurated on the 24th July 1995.

 The centre is beautiful, built in a distinct architectural method with compressed earth blocks and roof channels. This type of construction reduces the need for cement and also has qualities of solidity, as well as sound and heat insulation that are superior to those of traditional burnt bricks. This technique is the conception of the CRATERRE association, and has been tested in Auroville by the architect, Serge Maini, who is also in charge of this project.


 A beautifully built Silence Dome welcomes individuals and groups to practice silence and meditation. In a noisy world, the possibility of listening to the Infinite within oneself, leads to inner peace.

 A large multipurpose hall named after " Justin and Elvire Herman " (parents of the founder) provides a place for meetings for both Volontariat and the community of Oupalam celebrations like birthday parties for children, yoga, music and other activities.

 A well organised library called " Mani" with a good collection of books enables the children and adults to have access to a wide range of information.


 This centre is running a crèche and a kindergardner section for the children of working parents from poor socioeconomic background. The sponsorship section and the evening school are also located in this centre, along with the training units for carpentry, art, beads and incense …This is also the place for the social workers who organise training workshops for adults, listening to the grievances of the public and counseling them. A computer room and some offices related to the management of the sponsorship program are also housed here.

 All the programmes are carried out with a positive future perspective :

Crèche and preschool centre:



  Early childhood care and education represents the first essential step towards achieving the goals of education for all. It refers to programmes intended to provide care and education for children from their birth until the age of 5 (prior to their entry into the elementary school). Volontariat runs a crèche and a preschool programme with 140 children.

 All these children are selected from deserving families of low socioeconomic status.

Improving children's health and nutrition is a primary concern.

The well planned diet of the child is sometimes supplemented with items like Tofu (Soya bean) and Spirulina (algae).


 A pediatrician visits the crèche once a week. Regular tests are conducted, treatment is given to all children who need it. Parents are mobilized to strengthen the available resources especially in the home. Children are taken out for outings play once a week. Special attention is given to meaningful interaction, acquisition of basic life skills, which make the child aware of human and cultural values.

 Volontariat believes that there is a need to safeguard equality of opportunity and promote the responsibility of both parents. Adequate support systems for mothers are created and greater investment by fathers in their children is encouraged. Meetings with the mothers on different issues are conducted on a regular basis to create awareness among them.

Sponsor section and evening classes :

 This programme now reaches around 800 children. The decision to accept a child for sponsorship is taken after due inquiries carried out by a qualified social worker and approved by the section in charge, and is based on the economic and social situation of the family.

 The evening school acts as a homework help centre and the children complete their homework and prepare for their lessons. Volontariat uses the services of part-time teachers who work in the evenings. They are selected on the basis of attitudes and competence to raise the children's level of school achievement.

 Many other activities are organised and for further details, please visit the page of sponsorship.

Employment units :

 Identifying and creating jobs are one of the most important activities of Volontariat. To develop a future for young people will always be our task.

 Our trainingcumemployment units are Carpentry, Art, Beads, and Incense Stick rolling units. All those trained in these units were helped to get regular employment, thereby making this project sustainable. The organisation helps them in marketing the products, thereby enabling them to earn their livelihood.

  • Liege Carpentry Unit :

 This unit employs eight persons who are not traditional carpenters. They have learnt the skill and qualified themselves .

 Every year these carpenters train a set of young boys who were not able to succeed in their academic studies, inspite of help from Volontariat. The training is for two years and successful candidates are helped to get placements in furniture marts and carpentry workshops.

  • Kalai Art Section :

 This unit employs three artists who use a variety of techniques in drawing and painting. They also paint on ornamental boxes or on silk ...Greeting cards with different designs are also made here.

  • Beads Unit:
This unit employs ten women who are from a deprived socioeconomic background. Here we produce articles like necklace, bracelet, anklet, hairnet, etc.
  • Incense stick rolling Unit:

The provision of materials of incense sticks is from the Ashram, which also takes all the finished articles, paying the women directly. Volontariat merely provides the space for them.

The purchase of any article of these units will

directly help the young men and women and their family

to earn livelihood and lead a life of dignity.


 Volontariat has always given priority to good health. Prevention of disease through immunization and sanitation is a thrust. Extensive medical care has also been one of the most significant features of our work. The dispensary which is located in 'Shakti Vihar' generally treats ailments like abscess, fever, dysentery, diarrhea, sprains, muscle cramps, fungal and other skin infections.

 The large numbers from the staff and the community registered in the dispensary for this year reflects the relevance of the health program. 2000 families (10,000 people) are covered by the health care programme of Volontariat.

  • Prevention of illness and promotion of health are managed by providing :
    1. nutritious food
    2. good clothing
    3. effective education.
  • Proper treatment and immediate referral to specialized medical centres is done when necessary . The ongoing projects in this section are as follows :
    1. cataract operations
    2. dental care services
    3. leprosy rehabilitation centre
    4. homeopathic dispensary
    5. cardiac surgeries (since 1995)