(16 May '00)
The Amrita Kripa charitable hospital is located on the beach road alongside the ashram in Amritapuri was started in 1996. It serves the coastal villagers free in consultations, procedures, lab works, and medicines.
The residents of Amritapuri, including 3000 hostel students of the Amrita University, and the devotee visitors to the ashram also take the benefit of the hospital.
The doctors see about 200 patients daily.
On Sudays there are specialist consulations in different areas which benefits more than 400 patients. In all about 7000 patients a month visit the hospital.
Specialists in gynaecology, endocrinology, urology, neurology,ophthalmology, dermatology, ENT, dental, and psychatry attend regularly.
The hospital has an ICU and an emergency room equipped for cardiac arrests and asthma attacks and other basic emergency procedures and a small lab for blood and urine tests.
The most common serious ailments are asthma, hypertensive blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, acidic peptic disease, skin diseases and eye problems. The damp climate, allergies, high salt and high cholesterol levels aggravate many problems.
Two doctors, two house surgeons from AIMS, two trained nurses and three nursing assistants are in attendance. Up to ten patients stay in the ward at any given time, including elderly ashramites, peacefully passing their last years with the kind attention and care.
The brahmachari Dr. Ragavendra has been serving Amma since 1998 says that serving in an ashram hospital is a wonderful opportunity to combine spiritual practice with the joy of social service. “We have to see patients very quickly, because of the volume of people waiting, there is no limit really to the time we could spend.
Sometimes a seemingly fit person has come to us, sent straight from the darshan hall by Amma herself. When we examine them and run a test we find there is a disease or big problem.”
“But being Amma’s ashram we also get many really hopeless cases, sent by doctors or social workers who have heard of Amma, and send the people here as a last resort. Some come from very far away. We see many tragedies here. We never know when someone might receive that grace of a cure. It does happen. Even in the most hopeless cases we tell the person to chant mantras. The faith gives them the strength to undergo the mental stress of their condition.”