(25 Oct '07)
For the past few weeks, the postman has been arriving at Amritapuri bearing heavy loads. Huge sacks of mail from all over India are coming to the Ashram on a daily basis. They are filled with the hopes of thousands of children. They are applications for Amma’s newly announced Vidyamritam project in which 30,000 children will be given financial aid to help cover the cost of their education. (read more). However, when told about the number of applications arriving at the Ashram, Amma immediately said that the number of beneficiaries should be increased to 100,000.
Every day, a group of devotee volunteers can be found sitting around a table in the Main Hall, opening up each application individually. Piles of discarded opened envelopes lay on the floor. Their contents neatly stacked on the table – having been properly checked to makes sure that everything has been included. There is a photograph of the hopeful child, family information, school grades. The information is later entered into a computer.In the upcoming months, each child’s family will be visited by a representative of the Ashram to verify the information provided before they start receiving their benefits.During Amma’s Birthday, those children who had already been selected received their first installment.