NABH accreditation for Amrita Institute

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences has been granted NABH (National Accreditation Board of Hospitals & Health Care Providers) accreditation. Amrita is the first university teaching hospital to get NABH accreditation in the country.

National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, (http://www.qcin.org/) set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organizations and to set benchmarks for progress of health industry.

Amrita-Pfizer Preferred Research Centre Secretariat

AIMS, Kochi June 27 2009

Amrita has become a Nodal Centre for clinical research in the southern region with the inauguration of the Amrita-Pfizer Preferred Research Centre Secretariat here on Saturday 27th of June.

The Secretariat will be where all the central coordination of research activities (including administrative, financial, legal as well as supportive research components such as protocol development) takes place. This is a key achievement which will enable both Amrita and Pfizer to enhance clinical research activities in South India.

Dr. Sanish Davis, Clinical Research Manager, Pfizer, stated that Pfizer was very happy to have such collaboration with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences because Amrita is one of the very few healthcare institutions in India that give equal importance to both healthcare and research and that Pfizer is committed to improving the quality of clinical research in India.

God in every sound, Atma in every melody

Blessings & Celebrations in Albuquerque

25 June 2009—Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

The fourth stop on Amma’s 2009 Summer US Tour was Albuquerque, New Mexico. Amma held programs in the city for five days, including a three-day retreat.

On the second night, Amma was welcomed by Senator Linda Lopez, a member of the Senate of New Mexico, as well as two prominent area doctors: Dr. Cheryl Willman, the director and chief executive officer of the University of New Mexico Cancer Research & Treatment Center, and Dr. Vasant Lad, founder of the Ayurvedic Institute of Albuquerque.

Senator Lopez, who has represented the 11th District of New Mexico since 1997, said to Amma, “Welcome to New Mexico. You bring with you love and hope for our families and mainly for our children and our community of New Mexico.”

Dr. Willman praised the charitable medical programs run by Amma’s ashram. “I am so honored to have Amma here because through her great works she has opened many hospitals for children and cancer patients throughout the world that not only bring the best medicine from the West, but the best heart and soul and spirit for that healing power.”

A surprise guest on the first night of the retreat was renowned sarod maestro, Padma Vibhushan Amjad Ali Khan, who teaches at the University of New Mexico. Amjad Ali Khan came seeking Amma’s darshan and blessings, presenting her with his latest CD, Ancient Sounds.

“Somehow in India I could not have the opportunity to have the darshan of Amma,” he said. “But I have been hearing good things, beautiful things about Amma. How she is helping and healing people, and sharing love, and giving the message of peace and harmony and compassion. … All my students are also here.”

On the second day of the retreat, Amjad Ali Khan treated everyone to an hour-long recital as Amma gave darshan. “I was so pleasantly surprised to see the involvement of Amma into music,” he said before playing. “She herself was singing. I did not expect that. And she is so much involved in music and healing and blessing the whole world. I have also come here for the blessings.”

Amjad played several traditional ragas and original compositions.

“Our family, we feel connected with every soul, every religion, every song of the world. And in our country, in India, we say svar hi isvar hai—‘The sound is God.’ And every melody, every raga, has a soul. Har raga me ek atma hai. So it is a great privileged and honor to be here in the presence of revered Amma.”

That same day in the evening, there were more traditional music performances, including West Africa, Native American and a whirling dervish.

The most heart-capturing “performance” of them all came from Amma herself—who on two occasions concluded darshan with ecstatic bhajans—”Khol Darvaza,” “Dao Dao Dao” and “Meri Jhopadi”—which had the New Mexico devotees dancing and singing with all their hearts despite the late hour.

—Kannadi

“A Great Woman, A Great Humanitarian & A Great World Leader

“A Great Woman, A Great Humanitarian & A Great World Leader”

18 June 2009 — Los Angeles, California, USA

When Amma came to Los Angeles for her annual visit, she was welcomed by a number of California politicians, including the Mayor of Santa Monica, Michael Feinstein and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry. Senator Gilbert Cedillo’s Office also sent an official certificate of commendation and recognition.

Before garlanding Amma, Mayor Feinstein spoke about Amma’s humanitarian projects, specifically praising her programs assisting impoverished agricultural families.

“The embrace is something that she does physically and spiritually, but it is also something that she has inspired in a bigger way in terms of service to the world,” the mayor said. “All the kind of help she has offered to people around the planet is an embrace of its own sort. Really the embrace is about love, but it is also about taking that love and sharing it in a practical manner.”

Councilwoman Perry also praised Amma’s humanitarian works, referring to her as “A great woman, a great humanitarian, and a great world leader.”

Perry continued: “It is honour to just recite the many gifts you have already bestowed around the world—in Kenya, to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, to tsunami victims, to prevent suicides of farmers who are having agricultural problems and the many educational and medical programs throughout the globe.

“As one who also serves the homeless, it is an honour to be able to meet someone of such great stature who sets the standard so very high for the rest of the world to follow. … Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.”

– Tulasi

The most heroic thing is caring

7 June 2009 — San Ramon, California, USA

The second stop on Amma’s 2009 U.S.  Yatra is San Ramon, California, home to Amma’s ashram headquarters in the United States, MA Center.

On June 5, the mayor of Sunnyvale, California, Antony Spitaleri, came for Amma’s darshan. Author Alice Walker also attended. Walker—who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for her novel The Color of Purple—said, “[Amma] presents the kind of leadership we need for our planet to survive. This is the most heroic person I’ve probably ever met. Because she is sitting there hugging people. This is the most heroic thing that any of us could do now. Because shooting each other is not heroic. The most heroic is caring, and she does that.”

June 6, World Environment Day, found Amma’s American youth organization, AYUDH – America, brought various fruit-tree saplings for Amma to bless. They then planted the trees on the premises. “Planting trees is like building houses for Nature,” Amma said upon blessing the trees. The group has planted 250 such saplings since January; its goal is to plant another 250 this year.

Amma’s San Ramon programs run from June 3 through June 13th, with a retreat on the final three days. She then travels to Los Angeles.

—Kannadi

MAM in UN Commission

MAM representatives at UN
Eleven representatives from the MAM attended the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17) at the United Nations in New York. The annual conference took place from May 4 to 15, 2009, with more than 1,000 people attending, including ministers of state, distinguished members from public and private sectors, academia, and civil society.
Many noted a strong synergy between the strategic initiatives of the Ashram’s Farmer Relief Project and the rural development policies and measures adopted by CSD-17.  In view of the increased activities of empowerment and self reliance of AmritaSree, its name of the partnership will be updated to The Farmers’ Empowerment Project.
csd21
The newly designated partnership has been cordially invited to participate in CSD-18 on year 2010.
in the photo: John H. Wells, Director, Cooperative Development Division, United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, during discussions at the Partnership Desk with two members of the MAM.

Amrita Telemedicine connects to PAN-African network

The Telemedicine network at Amrita Institute of Medical Science has begun extending its services beyond India’s borders. On May 4, 2009, it became part of the India’s PAN-African telemedicine network.

Though this telemedicne network, Amrita will provide e-health services to Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Seychelles. Medical consultation in various medical specialties will be made available to care centers and hospitals in these rural areas. Through a satellite and fiber optic network, it will be able to reach out to remote and rural areas in need.

The inaugural telecast was that of a CME (Continuing Medical Education) session, for doctors in the rural centers of Africa. The topic — Infectious Diseases, Prevention and Control. Dr. Girish, General Medicine interacted with doctors in 13 countries on the African continent as he shared his insights and knowledge from Amrita. “We have long aspired to this goal –Digital health to every doorstep– ” he stated. “I am happy that after Amma’s visit, we are now able to serve the African people in yet another manner.”

PAN-African e-network is a Government of India initiative. The network’s main aim is to provide adequate educational facilities and affordable healthcare eventually in all 53 nations of the African Union. This idea was proposed by the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, at the inaugural session of the PAN-African parliament held at Johannesburg in 2004.

Amma Embodies the Great Spiritual Traditions

27 May 2009 – 31 May 2009 — Seattle, Washington

When Amma landed in Seattle on May 27th, it marked the beginning of her 23rd tour of the United States.

Amma was officially welcomed to the Seattle by Richard Conlin, the President of the Seattle City Council. Addressing Amma and the gathering, Conlin said, “It is an honor and pleasure to be able to be able to welcome you to Seattle on behalf of the people of Seattle and the Seattle City Government.

“It is indeed a wonder to have such an amazing spiritual leader to be able to greet. A person who truly embodies the great spiritual traditions of our world.”

Conlin said that Amma reminded him of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous saying, “We can all be great because we can all serve.”

He also read an invocation prayer of Seattle’s native people:

May our words be tuned as one with the great mountains
with the great walks,
with the great trees,
at one with our bodies and our hearts.
Will you come and help us, O Super Natural Powers?
And you, Day? And you, Night?
All of you, see us as one with this world.

Amma gave a total of eight programs in four days in the city, giving satsang, darshan and leading the people in meditation in bhajans.

—Tulasi

Amma in Kobe & Tokyo – Japan

22 – 26 May 2009 – Kobe and Tokyo, Japan

Amma visited Kobe and Tokyo, showering her infinite love on her eagerly waiting devotees. In Kobe, special guests for the opening ceremonies included Mr. Sangam Lal Tripathi, Acting Consul General of Osaka Indian Consul-General, and Mr. Kinya Sakai, Director of Sun TV Japan, who garlanded Amma and participated in the ceremonies for the release of the book, “Eternal Wisdom 3″ in Japanese. Notable performances included the heart-warming songs of the choir from the Filipino Senate and devotees from Korea singing devotional songs in traditional Korean dresses. Japanese devotees sang bhajans with traditional Japanese musical instruments.

In Tokyo, special guests included Mr. Ryouhei Kamiwatari, a famous Japanese writer; Mr. Shiatsu Akizawa, former CEO of AM/PM Japan; Prof. Tsuyoshi Nara, Professor Emeritus of Tokyo Foreign Language University; Dr. T. Pankajakshan, Counsellor Science & Technology, Embassy of India, Japan; Mr. A P S Mani, Chairman, Indian Community Activities in Tokyo; and Mr. Suresh Lal, President, Nihon Kairali, the Kerala community of Japan.

Many different groups performed for Amma including traditional South Indian dancers, and Japanese bhajan singers. With Amma giving Devi Bhava Darshan right before them, Japanese devotees poured out their hearts, singing bhajans that touched the soul and drew beaming glances of love from Amma.

A special performance was given by Ainu tribal people from Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. The Ainu are native people who have lived in harmony with nature, seeing God in the river, mountain, ocean, and every aspect of nature. A memorable Ainu dance and song of peace was performed by a Shaman and her two sons. After meeting Amma, the Shaman described how the Ainu took up arms in the past to protect themselves and their families, but now, they repent and vow to never bear weapons and fight again. They vow to follow only God, and not others who would lead them astray to warfare.

view photos of Amma’s visit to Japan