Feb 16 – 17, Mananthavady, Kerala – Bharata Yatra 2011
The first program of Amma’s 2011 Northern leg of Bharat Yatra was the Manathavadi Brahmastanam Temple Festival. Located at nearly 3000 ft above sea level in the Western Ghats of Kerala, Manathavadi is known for it’s splendid landscape, mountains, lush greenery and fresh climate. Amma first visited this mountain city in 1993.
Upon arrival at the temple, Amma inaugurated the newly built chuttampalam (exterior hall around the inner temple) by lighting a traditional oil lamp.
Previously, Amma had taken up several charitable activities in this area to support families, which are struggling to make ends meet. As part of the AmritaSREE program the ashram had started 10 new women’s groups, providing them with vocational training to run small scale businesses like spice and pickle production. At the occasion of Amma’s visit these groups were given new working capital to further develop their businesses.
Additionally, 45 children of the members of the AmritaSREE program were given educational scholarships of Rs.1200 and another 50 children received educational scholarships as part of the Vidyamritam program.
Having one of the highest densities of tribal population in Kerala, many of the tribal people came to receive Amma’s darshan and performed stunning dance routines for her.
During her darshan, Amma distributed handkerchieves to the students as part of the Amala Bharatam Campaign, encouraging the villagers to use towels instead of spitting on the ground, thus contributing to public health and a hygienic environment.
On both program days, Amrita Vidyalayam children presented wonderful cultural performances. On the second day, at the end of darshan, Amma sang ‘Kota tumi janani’, embracing everyone once again – with her melodious, soul-stirring voice.