Jammu Kashmir flood: MAM relief works in pictures

After the flood hit the state of Jammu & Kashmir, MAM volunteers visited different villages and distributed essential food items and blankets to the villagers. Read blogs from here.

Food and Blankets distribution by  MAM volunteers led by Br. Nijamrita Chaitanya and Br. Amit.



Educational items for school going children being distributed




MAM Volunteers visiting the villages



The destruction in the villages

Home Minister flagged off Amrita Tele Medicine van to Jammu Kashmir

06 Oct 2014, New Delhi
Victims of the recent Kashmir floods will receive state-of-the-art medical aid from the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), as two mobile units equipped with health and relief facilities were flagged off from the capital by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.


Hailing ‘Amma’  as humanitarian icon for her charity activities, the minister said the government has made efforts to support the Math’s Rs 25-crore mission in the Valley to ensure a coordinated operation.

“Amma is an ocean of compassion striving for the betterment of humanity,” he said, before flagging off a mobile medical facility and a mobile tele-medicine unit from India Gate. Amidst the cheering of volunteers and supporters chanting aloud ‘Mata Amritanandamayi Ki Jai’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, the two vehicles moved out to Srinagar..

Earlier, the minister took a round of both the units and interacted with the contingent that includes 14 doctors and paramedical staff, who will reach Srinagar on Wednesday and work mostly in Bandipora district that was battered by the Jhelum floods this monsoon season.

MAM had last month distributed school kits for children in Udhampur district of the Valley, where the Math would also be constructing houses for people affected by the September floods triggered by torrential rains.

Amrita Hospital flags off medical relief to flood-hit in Jammu – Kashmir

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) is sending its disaster management and mobile Telemedicine unit to Jammu-Kashmir to provide medical care to people affected by the recent floods.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Sing will flag off Amrita Hospital’s Telemedicine unit at 9am on this Sunday 5th Oct at India Gate, New Delhi.


The mobile medical facility is equipped with Colour Echo Cardiography, Gastroscopy, Retinal Camera, Ultra Sonography, X-Ray Radiography, Ventilator, Minor Operation theatre, Delivery Room facility, Electro Cardiography, Light Microscopy, Digital Photography and Bio Chemical Testing with a semi-auto Analyzer to analyse Hepatitis B, Rat Fever or Leptospirosis, etc.

A team of medical experts from the departments of General Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine and Radiology are there in the team. They will provide vaccinations like DPT, Polio, MMR, and Hepatitis B at the relief sites.

A team of Veterinary doctors with medicines and vaccinations for animals are also part of the team.

The centrally air conditioned Telemedicine Unit van is equipped with satellite-based video conferencing facility. It is also supported by two emergency ambulances, equipped with cardiac facilities, trained medical team and adequate medicines. These ambulance can travel to interior places where the Telemedicine van cannot reach.

The output from these devises can be transmitted to Amrita specialty hospital for expert opinion or any health care center that has a Telemedicine facility. It is also equipped with Amrita Health Information System. Using all these facilities expert doctors can directly see the patient, diagnose the disease and start emergency medical management.

Amrita Institute for Medical Sciences has been in the forefront of rendering free medical care to people hit by natural disasters across the country. During Gujarat Earthquake 2001, Tsunami in 2004, Bihar flood in 2008, Andhra-Karnataka flood in 2009, and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) landslides in 2013 where the mobile Telemedicine unit along with disaster management team had rendered exclusive medical relief services to the affected people. A total 548 medical camps were conducted by the Amrita mobile Telemedicine unit in the last seven years.

MAM built 500 more houses in Uttarakhand and Kerala

27 Sep 2014, Amritapuri
Amritavarsham – Amma’s 61st Birthday celebrations

As part of Amma’s dream that everyone in the world should have a solid roof over their head, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math has constructed more than 45,000 homes for the homeless in more than 75 locations across India since 1998. Often, in response to floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters, entire villages are reconstructed at a time.

This year, the Math has constructed 500 houses in various locations in Kerala. And, in Uttarakhand, where the Math launched an Rs. 50-crore relief-and-rehabilitation package for flooding victims in 2013, the Math is constructing 250 houses. Sri. Rajnath Singh, the Hon. Union Minister for Home Affairs bestows keys and certificates to beneficiaries of this project, some of whom have come all the way from Uttarakhand.

MAM announces Rs 25 Crore relief package for Jammu Kashmir flood relief

27 Sep 2014, Amritapuri
Amritavarsham 61, Amma’s Birthday celebrations

Sri. Rajnath Singh, Union Minister for Home Affairs officially launched the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s Rs. 25 Crore Relief & Rehabilitation Package for Jammu-Kashmir, as part of which houses MAM construct houses for people who have lost their homes in the flooding.

This would include housing for those who have lost their houses, monetary disbursements for widows, medical aid in terms of doctors and medicines and essential supplies.

As part of this huge effort, the MAM volunteers already distributed school kits for the children of Panjar in Udhampur district, at the behest of the local authorities. The request of the authorities came when the volunteers from MAM were inspecting the nearby affected areas after their discussion with Yasha Mudgal, Deputy Commissioner Udhampur. A school kit was handed over to each of the children identified from the affected families.

Read more blogs from JK

Amma donates $1 million to uplift Philippine typhoon survivors

3 April 2014, Manila, Philippines

Amma donated $1 million U.S. to the Yolanda-Haiyan Multi-Donor Fund in the Office of the President of Philippines on April 2nd in Manila.


After seeing the effects of Yolanda-Haiyan firsthand in November 2013, representatives from Embracing the World (ETW) along with Amma decided to donate $1 million U.S. to the most severely affected areas from the typhoon. The American wing of ETW, called the Mata Amritanandamayi Center, contributed the amount, which will be used for children’s educational needs, including orphans.

After more than two months of research, ETW decided that the Office of the President of the Philippines and its Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) was the best place to present the donation.

Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, a member of the Board of Directors of M.A. Center, specified that the donation was made to try to alleviate the suffering seen by himself and other ETW volunteers immediately after the typhoon. “This $1 million dollar contribution will be supplemented in the future by vocational-training of typhoon-displaced adults and students’ living expenses to complete high school,” he said.

“We continue to be moved by the outpouring of support from the international community,” said PARR Secretary Panfilo M. Lacson. “We are especially grateful to Embracing the World for being one of the first international private donors to reach out to PARR to make a donation to the Yolanda survivors. We congratulate Amma for undertaking this advocacy, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world. We hope she inspires more people by her example.”

Japanese students bring warmth to Uttarakhand

February 2014, Uttarakhand

A group of 73 students from all over Japan came together and travelled to India to help take part in Amma’s rehabilitation of the areas devastated by the 2013 floods in the state of Uttarakhand. Amma pledged to rebuild 500 homes in the area. The first phase of that work is going on in and around the village of Chandrapuri in the district of Rudraprayag, on the way up to Kedarnath.

Students from the IVUSA (International Volunteer University Student Association) organization have collaborated with Embracing the World since 1998, participating in projects to build homes for tsunami refugees in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and more recently in 2011 and 2012 in Raichur, after devastating floods in Karnataka.

Many of the volunteers in this group were coming back to India for the second or third time for this purpose.

Remarkably for many of the students, these few weeks of time they spent volunteering, involving long days of hard physical labor, is their only vacation for the year. Inspired by Amma’s own life of dedication and service, they choose to spend this time not for their own enjoyment, but to do something for the benefit of the less fortunate.

Upon their arrival, the students were given a formal welcome and honored as official state guests by Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Harish Rawat. When addressing the students the Chief Minister said, “Amma is doing wonderful work and if you are with her your path in life will become clear.” The Chief Minister spent some time interacting with everyone and expressed his admiration and support for the students’ efforts.

Over the next several days the students were involved in all aspects of the construction work, including concreting, assembling the metal foundation beams, and transporting building materials from the riverbed up steep hills to the sites. The students are an extremely well organized group and divided themselves up into smaller teams, spreading out to work throughout the valley at all the different construction sites.

Each day when they showed up to do their seva they were met by scores of local villagers who were swept up by the Japanese students’ enthusiasm and compelled to join in the fun. With their open heartedness and spirit of selfless service, the students created joyful interactions, much to the amusement of their local Indian co-workers. Despite the work being very hard on a physical level no one minded. It was really like a party and everyone could be seen smiling and laughing as they worked.

Most of the work involved bringing building materials to the hamlet of Batwadi Sonar where a community hall is being built for the villagers. All day the students and villagers together hiked up and down the steep hill to the hamlet carrying stones and sand that will be used to build the hall. At the end of each day, just before the sun went down everyone would gather together around a giant Pipal tree in the village and sing bhajans together. While there might not have been any professional singers or musicians there, the innocence and beauty of the singing directly carried over from the joy and cooperation the students and villagers had shared working together all day. {Read Blogs here}

On their final morning of work the Japanese students introduced the local villagers to the Amala Bharatam Campaign. Again working side by side with all the locals, the Japanese students fanned out and collected trash throughout the area. Dozens of bags of trash were filled from the riverbed, which is sadly still full of debris from the flooding many months before.

Before leaving the Japanese students took part in a formal cultural program held at one of the local schools just down the road in the town of Chandrapuri. The Rudraprayag District Collector, Mr. Raghav Langar presided over the festivities which included many songs and dances performed by both the Japanese and local students and was attended by hundreds of local people.

When it was time to say goodbye, both the students and locals were sad to bid farewell to their newfound friends. They Japanese students donated their time, energy, and enthusiasm, but the volunteers said that they received much more than we gave.

In the sharing of loving care across cultural boundaries and language barriers, the line between “giving” and “receiving” disappeared, and volunteers and recipients find that they are not so different after all. In truth, even though they spoke Japanese and Garwhali, they share a common mother tongue: the universal language of Love.

– Nath

Read blogs from Uttarakhand

Swami visits typhoon hit Philippines

4-7 Dec 2013, Philippines

The world community was shocked when Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines on November 8th, 2013. With a speed of up to 370 km/h the tropical cyclone destroyed nearly 80 to 90% of the houses in many areas of the country. The deadliest Typhoon in Philippine history took the lives of more than 6,000 people and affected a total of eleven million people, leaving countless without home and shelter.

When Amma heard about the tragedy she announced one million USD relief– and rehabilitation package to provide relief and long-term support to the victims of the disaster.

Amma sent Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri to visit the affected areas in order to assess the situation on the ground. On his four day trip Swami was accompanied by devotees from Japan and Singapore, and joined by Senator Jamby Madregal in Manila.

After arriving in Manila, the team took a military aircraft to Tacloban City in the province Leyte. They visited a local indoor stadium, which provided shelter to 3000 people. Along with Swamiji and Senator Jambi, the volunteers distributed cooked food to the people, who had lost everything in the cyclone. It was the first time after almost a month that the victims received cooked food, which gave them back a smile on their face.

In another relief camp Swamiji met Mr. Petilla, Governor of Levte Province to discuss the ongoing rehabilitation operations. He also took part in the main relief operation meetings at the residence of Congressman Mr. Martin Romualdez, and joined one of the relief operations officers in a helicopter ride to get an areal view of the situation.

Talking to the people of Tacloban, Swamiji heard many sad, and some miraculous stories – like that of the Mayor, Mr. Romualdez. He was inside his house when the Typhoon hit. As the water level rose he moved to the top of a table, then slowly climbed on to the roof of the building. Facing winds with the speed of 250 km/h he made a hole in another part of the roof from which he could descend down. At the same time his wife and two children were trapped inside a car. Once they escaped, they had to hold on to a pole for almost two hours, in order to survive the disaster.

As the team left the Philippines on December 7th, they felt very moved and saddened by the many human tragedies that they witnessed during their visit. Yet they were confident that Amma’s arms of compassion will be able to uplift and create a huge transformation in the lives of those affected.

Swami is now in contact with the local authorities to discuss the next steps of Embracing The World’s relief operations in the area.

Amma to donate $1 million to Philippines typhoon victims

26 Nov 2013, California

Amma said that she is donating a relief and rehabilitation package worth $1 million for the people affected by super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Half of the relief package from the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) will be donated in cash while the rest will be spent for children’s education. The package will come from the Mata Amritanandamayi Center in California.

Haiyan, believed to be the worst storm to hit the Philippines, has affected 13 million people and destroyed one million homes.


“I was greatly distressed to hear about this devastation, which took the lives of so many innocent people in the Philippines and which added an immense burden to those who were already living in poverty. In a fateful moment, the storm snatched away the dreams and hopes of hundreds of thousands of others who survived the initial disaster. During this time of immense agony and sorrow, Amma’s heart goes to those who have endured this tragedy and prays for their peace and mental strength. She also offers her prayers to the departed souls.” said Amma.

50-Crore relief and rehabilitation package for Uttarakhand

10 Sept 2013, New Delhi
Mata Amritanandamayi Math announced two massive charitable projects: a 50-crore relief-and-rehabilitation project in the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand and a programme to adopt 101 villages throughout India.

Flash flood in Uttarakhand

“In Uttarakhand, MAM will build approximately 500 houses destroyed by the disaster,” said MAM’s vice-chairman Swami Amritaswarupananda in a press conference in New Delhi. “These will be the totality of homes destroyed in 42 selected villages in the districts of Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi.”

The Swami also stressed that MAM would not only be rebuilding houses in Uttarakhand, but would also be providing scholarships to poor children, providing pension to widows and handicapped people, building an orphanage/care-home for children who no longer have a proper care structure in place, and helping to empower women by assisting them to set up home-based SHG businesses.

The Swami also announced the advent of what he said would amount to the most massive humanitarian programme ever undertaken by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math: the adoption of 101 villages throughout India with the aim of helping them become self-reliant and thriving.

“In order to accomplish this, MAM will draw upon the totality of the humanitarian programmes it has established over the past 30 years,” the swami said of the programme, which he said is being called the Amrita Self-Reliant Village Programme (Amrita Swasrayagramam).

Both the Uttarakhand reconstruction and the 101 village-adoption programme will be officially launched during Amritavarsham 60 on September 26-27.

(Read the blog of Brahmacharis seva in the disaster hit areas)