Challenges and Solutions
By Tapan and the Master Unit Team in Saigon, Vietnam
I always ask myself, when will Master Units (eco-communities) become standard models in our society. Because the idea of master units is very nice but it is not so easy to develop them in our lives.
Master Units are usually located in rural areas, not near cities. If they were located in cities, there would not be enough land area for farming. People may understand the important role of Master Units but their jobs and families are dependent on cities. Persuading oneself or one’s family to live in a Master Unit is not so easy. Even if someone is ready to stay on a Master Unit, then comes the question of how to survive while developing a Master Unit. But Master Units are not only for risky individuals who like stories of adventures. No, master units are our stories, our communities.
In our case, the Master Unit in Phuoc Tan, Ananda Uma, is located in a rural – industrial area, 45 km from Ho Chi Minh City. We are developing our project in such a way that city people can ride/drive to stay at the Master Unit and work on it on the weekends. It means that we need to create an attractive fresh-green environment there. Currently about 500 young trees of neems and trom (Sterculia foetida) have been growing on our land as well as many other fruit trees, like banana, mango, coconut and grapefruit trees.
If we recognize that a Master Unit is a need, we need to make a development team for the Master Unit and decide who will stay in the Master Unit. How will the first inhabitants survive ? First, we need to build a house for the first inhabitants with water, electricity, etc. How will we get money for building? A long journey begins with one step; a few people in a small house are the first step. What will the first habitants do in our Master Units (plant vegetables, food crops…)? How to plant vegetables, trees? We need water, manure… we need to dig, drill some wells or make some ponds for collecting the rainwater? (we can read “Water Crisis and Conversation”, Ideal Farming by Shrii P.R.Sarkar). Who is in charge of financing? Who is in charge of techniques such as house building, a Master Plan,…? So we need many resources from the Master Unit team.
In our Master Unit team, we have 10 people working in different areas like neem and trom trees, fruit trees, watering work, electrical system work, construction etc. Even though, currently we don’t have anybody staying there permanently, we have our volunteers going there for such projects at certain times. And we have received many donations from our local contacts and yoga students.
We need unity and harmony, not only human beings but also animals, plants, water sources, forests… We need to share information with master units all over the world to speed up the process of creating a better environment. We do not think these are our dreams at nights, but these are our jobs every day. Shrii P. R. Sarkar, the founder of Master Units has said, “Time will not wait for us”, and you, what will you wait for?
We know that our project or in particular, our trees take time to grow well and strong but we do not wait, we put in the young trees and take care of them so that we are moving step by step, little by little every day. And from this project, we are enjoying and moving in a happy mood, believing that our Master Unit will become an ideal place for our community. We wish many and many more Master Units all over the world will be developed for all beings’ benefits.
More information please check our website: anandauma.weebly.com
May: Planting Fruit trees
July: Fencing the front land
August: Forest project – planting Neem & Trom trees
September: Lemon tree project
October: Medical camp with AMURT&AMURTEL
November: Fencing backside of the land
December: Adobe house workshop, Fundraising