Bhavana Dee DeCew was born in New York. She studied at Northwestern University and New York University at Brooklyn, but prefers to say she studied at "the university of the road," traveling in Europe and overland to India. She has been in Auroville since 1971, and founded the Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) in 1983. AVAG carries out development work in about 80 villages in and around the Auroville area. A long time resident of Auroville, she has seen the development of Auroville through the early years and is now part of the coordination team of the Integral Learning Centre at Verite Community within Auroville. She also enjoys meditating and organising courses in Vipassana meditation.