Serving the victims of Nepal earth quake

Katmandu, Nepal

Direct by Amma, volunteers of Embracing the world is there in Nepal to help the earthquake victims in relief operations. Along with the Nepal army two truck loads of rice, wheat, dal, oil, blanket and other items were distributed.


Earlier Amma had directed Embracing the World to send 50 tons of wheat, 2,000 sets of warm clothes and medicines to Kathmandu as immediate aid for survivors of the devastating earthquake.

Read blogs from Nepal here.



Amrita medical relief benefits 6000 people affected by Kashmir floods

New Delhi, 31 Oct 2014

Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) carried out a medical relief mission in Kashmir this month for the victims of the Jammu Kashmir (Jhelum) floods, benefiting close to 6,000 people. The 20-member crew has returned to Kerala after treating patients affected by everything from allergies, dysentery, and worm infestations to psychological trauma. The team also helped protect the remaining livestock by distributing medicines to animals in distress.


Earlier this month, two mobile Telemedicine units carrying health and relief facilities run by 14 doctors and paramedical staff toured 12 places in the worst-affected Bandipore and Badgam districts in a fortnight-long exercise.

The Rs. 2.5-crore Telemedicine unit facility is equipped with two beds, ultra sonography, X-ray radiography, ventilator, minor operation theatre, delivery room, electro cardiography, light microscopy, digital photography and bio-chemical testing for hepatitis-B and rat fever. The centrally air-conditioned Telemedicine unit was equipped with a satellite-based video conferencing facility. The signal output from the various devices in the emergency ambulance unit was transmitted to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Kochi for expert opinion.


The medical team held camps in the areas of Ashtangoo, Kulhama, Laharwalpora, Sumbal, Naugam, Zalpora, Naid Khai, Hajin and Magam. In addition to consultations, the team distributed medicines, as well as services such as lab tests, ultrasounds, ECG and X-ray. The crew even facilitated two deliveries, including a C-section.


Dr Puneet Dhar, who led the medical mission, noted that common diseases plaguing the disaster-hit regions included skin ailments such as scabies, allergies, gastroenteritis, worm infestations, respiratory infections (especially in children), backbone and joint pain, hypertension and depression. “We also treated people with diseases that are unrelated to the floods. They included gallstones, diabetes, urinary disorders, dyspepsia and sexually transmitted diseases,” he revealed.

For their part, the rural beneficiaries expressed gratitude to MAM and Amma. Said Sajjad Husain of Zalpora village: “We are deeply touched by the services of a good team of doctors all the way from Kerala. On behalf of all villagers, our sincere thanks to Amma.”



The doctors who carried out operations in the Valley were experts in general medicine and surgery, community medicine, gastro-intestinal surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, neuro surgery, dental science and gynecology. A veterinary doctor also was part of the team.


Animal Care
The veterinary doctor of the team noted that a drop in immunity has made the livestock more prone to parasites and infections. “The floods led to loss of animal feed, thereby leading to starvation and creating high stress levels in the animals.” This in turn places the villagers who are dependent on the livestock for their livelihood under severe economic pressure when they are already reeling from flood damages.
As a counter-measure, the team distributed high-quality mineral mixture to around 500 animals, including cows, buffaloes, sheep and horses. De-worming drugs were provided to stop parasitic infections. Sheep and goats were treated for wounds and minor injuries. Others were treated for ticks, as well as gynecological and skin problems.


Blanket distribution
The Math distributed approximately 3,000 blankets in Kashmir, following suggestions from Bandipore District Commissioner Shah Faesal. These blankets will be given to people who have lost their houses and are now living in tin shelters and under tarpaulin roofs. MAM would provide them more blankets in the coming months when the temperature will fall even further.

Building houses
An MAM delegation led by Br. Nijamrita Chaitanya met state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and conveyed the Math’s willingness to reconstruct houses in the Valley. They also briefed the CM about MAM’s activities in the Valley.


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Hundreds in Kashmir throng Amrita Hospital’s medical relief camp

12 Oct 2014, Bandipore, Jammu Kashmir

Hundreds of Kashmir’s flood-victims thronged the medical relief camp set up by Amrita Hospital in Bandipore district of Jammu and Kashmir. A team of 15 medical specialists and paramedics are providing critical medical care to flood victims in the worst-affected areas of the district including Ashtingoo Ghat, Kulhama, Laharwalpora and Sumbal-Sonawari. Over 2,300 people of these areas have been examined and dispensed with medicines.


A mobile hospital and tele medicine unit is equipped with intensive care unit, ventilator, ECG, Colour Echo cardiogram, X-Ray Radiography, Light Microscopy with the team are providing advanced pathological support.

About 52 villages in Bandipore district was completely submerged in last months massive floods and hundreds of houses, several health facilities, schools and police stations were submerged in the floods, besides damaging standing crops in hundreds of hectares. According to the Divisional Commissioner Dr. Shah Faesal, 60,000 people were displaced in the floods, while dozens of families are still living in tents on roads and safer areas. Over 2,000 houses were completely damaged in the district.


The medical camp, which began on 8th will continue till 13th October in Bandipore district, while during the second phase, it will shift to Magam in Badgam district of Kashmir.



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.

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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