Empowering Kenya

Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya visited Kenya from April 22nd to April 29th, 2014. During his stay, public talks were held at the Balaji temple auditorium and the Langham Court, during which he spoke on the topics ’Living Fearlessly’ and ’Living a Life of Purpose’. Both programmes attracted packed audiences, who thoroughly enjoyed the talk, devotional singing and guided meditation.

Mr. Yogeshwar Varma, the High Commissioner of India, was the chief guest at the Langham Court. Addressing the gathering, he profoundly thanked Amma and Amrita Center Kenya for their tireless efforts to spread spiritual values in the country of Kenya and their ongoing commitment to providing services for the poor and needy, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or social background.

On April 23rd, Shubamrita addresed 120 young Kenyans who are currently undergoing vocational training at CAPS Youth Empowerment Institute Training Center in Bururburu. The session was entitled ’Embrace Your Dreams’ and he invited the youth to reflect upon their personal ambitions and conceptualize concrete steps towards leading a successful and purposeful life.

Upon the invitation of Hon. Moses Akaranga, the Governor of Vihiga County, Shubamrita give a talk to the executives in the Government on Social Governance and Leadership.

Amongst those who were waiting most eagerly for Swamiji’s visit were the 110 children at the Amrita Watoto Boma, the Children’s Care home in Athi River. The students proudly told him about their academic achievements and then spent informal time with Swamiji, singing and dancing and all the time repeating one question: “When is Amma going to visit us?” The permaculture project in the premises of the Children’s Home has seen a healthy expansion, providing organic food for Amma’s children and turning the Home into a beautiful park of lush green vegetation. A greenhouse has been erected to provide even more nutritious vegetables to the children and staff. Every Sunday, more than 200 children from the surrounding informal settlements were invited to the Home to receive free food and snacks.

On April 28th, Br. Shubamrita launched the second free eye-surgery camp held by M.A. Math Charitable Trust, in conjunction with Vision Beyond Borders and Nairobi MJF Balaji Lions Club. 1,372 patients had been screened across the country, out of which 120 were diagnosed with a severe cataract condition that leads to blindness and subsequently received a free cataract surgery at Athi River Shalom Community Hospital. A group of seven doctors and nurses from Spain came to volunteer for one week to do the surgeries. In December 2013, the Shalom Hospital became a partner of the Telemedicine Project with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi, India, receiving free consultations from highly specialized doctors.

It was really inspiring to see Amma’s love and compassion spreading across this beautiful country through the various activities and projects. Though far away physically from Amma, the volunteers of Amrita Kenya are so close to her in spirit, as they try to live Amma’s message through these projects initiated there.

– Dass


Amrita Personal Health Record

health recordMarking yet another medical revolution in India there is now a way for ordinary citizens to take control of his/her life health record. Amrita Technologies have come up with portable Electronic Health Record stored in a pen drive, purely personal and protected, universally usable, designed to enable self-management of personal health. The medical records can be accessed anywhere by simply plugging it into a computer.

Amrita Technologies created this innovative product solution in close collaboration and involvement from various physicians, surgeons and medical personnel.  On seeing this product, Dr. Sanjiv Singh, Medical Administrator of the 1350 bed Super Specialty AIMS hospital in Kochi said “This product is easy to use and can be easily carried around by ordinary citizens.  We expect tremendous benefits for patients and hospitals alike by making this critical information made available when it is needed the most.”

“A person suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problem, allergies or other ailments has an accident or emergency, if his or her medical records will be readily available, we can save so many lives.” This was Amma’s instruction when we started the initiative, recollects Pradeep Achan who heads Amrita Technologies.

Keeps you secured for ever
Traditionally health data is locked within the hospitals, doctors, and with disparate IT systems far from the direct reach of individuals. An easy to use portable application will now empower citizens and provide critical medical history data to physicians and hospitals when it is needed the most.
Some portion of the medical record can be publically viewable, as emergency medical record. Rest of information can be viewed only when the person unlocks the information based on his/her personal pass phrase. Person can upload his/her current medical records – either in standard documents formats (doc, pdf, jpg) or scan and upload his/her records in. Images like X-ray, Ultrasound, CT, etc can be uploaded in standardized JPG or DICOM medical format.  All details of consultations with various specialists, related investigations & other documents are saved in chronological order and can be seen in seconds.  The data can also be backed up in a PC in encrypted form.
Many a time details of past medical history play a critical role in right diagnosis & emergency treatment. In such cases having access to complete medical history, including previous diagnosis, medical prescriptions, test results, allergies, patient response to various treatments and drugs is extremely helpful.  In fact, many lives can be saved in critical casualty situations when this information is easily accessible with the click of a button.

Medical details in patients that require monitoring over a period of time, such as premature babies, diabetic patients and elderly people would be extremely useful in determining the right course of medical actions by doctors and health care providers. It would reduce medical errors and also help to save on medical expenses as unnecessary duplicate medical tests and prescriptions can be avoided.

health record It supports   ‘go-green’ initiatives reducing paper usage and can also significantly reduce administrative costs of disseminating clinical information, including telephone calls, faxes, mail and courier charges.

This product will be launched during  Amritavarsham60 and will soon be available across the country in various convenient shapes like bracelets, wrist-bands, key-chains, bangles.


Amrita is the best hospital in the country

2 Sep 2013, New Delhi

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre was awarded the best hospital in the country for “betterment of health care” by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) based on an exhaustive review and presentation process.


In a glittering function in New Delhi on the 2nd of September 2013, Dr.Prem Nair, Medical Director, received this award on behalf of the Amrita Institute from the famous Bollywood film director Ramesh Sippy.

Cataract surgery in Kenya

From Saturday 25th May to 2nd June, 208 cataract surgeries were performed in Thika hospital on the outskirts of Nairobi for poor people.

The project was gestated, as a direct request from Amma and it was MA Center Kenya, who invited a team of Spanish doctors to do the surgeries.

Nagesh Katuri, representing the MA Center, Kenya, host the program along with Lions Club Club of Greater Nairobi and Lions Club of Chania Falls.

cataract operation kenya

Two ophthalmologists Dr Jaime Javaloy and Dr Tomas Moya, two nurses and two optometrists from Spain, and a surgeon constitute the medical team.  There was a lot of local support, to translate, to accompany, to take notes, move patients, and get whatever was needed urgently.

cataract operation kenya

Governor of Kaimbu County graced the occasion of inauguration as the Chief Guest and the Special Guest of Honor was the Spanish Ambassador to Kenya Mr Javier Herrera.

cataract operation kenya

Most of the patients had one eye operated, and only a few cases were operated in both eyes.   A young man who came with a foreign body embedded in the cornea, and the case of a 19 years old with an invading corneal epithelial growth were also treated. There were 4 young with traumatic cataract who were also intervened.

– Dass

Amma is unparalleled

27 Sep 2012, Amritapuri – Amma’s 59th Birthday celebrations

Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Power & Transport, inaugurated an Amrita Sahaya Nidhi program, wherein families who lost a member in the Sivakasi fireworks-factory explosion were given Rs. 100,000, and those who were seriously injured received Rs. 50,000. Tamil Nadu MLAs, Sri. Thangatamil Selven and Sri. R.M. Palani Swami, helped distribute the compensations.  This was part of the number of charitable activities launched  during the 59th birthday celebrations of Amma.

pic: Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Power & Transport looks on as
Amma consoles one of the families who lost a loved one in the recent tragedies in Sivakasi

Aryadan Mohammed then delivered a speech in which he said, “Amma is the only person  in the world who is completely established in spirituality and works for the world. Amma is unparalleled. For Amma is there is no caste, religion or nation. She is a single entity that is worshiped by the entire world. Amma guides us to peace and contentment. This is why Amma is immortal.”

Ramesh Chennithala, MLA and President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, handed over MAM’s financial compensation to families who lost a member or had a member seriously injured by the Kannur LPG tanker explosion. Families who lost a member received Rs. 100,000. Families who had a member seriously injured received Rs. 50,000. Ramesh Chennithala said, “Amma has given the message of love and tenderness to the world. Amma’s ocean of love is comforting humanity. May this always continue to be so. I pray that Amma will be able to continue her works with strength and overcome all obstacles.”

Amma’s method for service is an example for the entire world

27 Sep 2012, Amritapuri – Amma’s 59th Birthday celebrations
During the 59th birthday celebrations of Amma, along with the many charitable projects, one of the main charity projects was extending the charitable care at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Cochin, wherein MAM will provide 200 heart surgeries and 50 kidney transplants for the poor free of cost.


Launching this program, His Excellency the Governor of Chattisgarh, Sekhar Dutt said: “It is the need of the hour to help the helpless. The poor will not be able to bear the high expenses of heart surgery and other medical procedures. The services provided by AIMS Hospital are exemplary in this field. During the past 14 years, AIMS has provided impeccable service to society, earning the trust of the people. Here we can see a group of people who are willing to cheerfully offer service to the needy. Amma’s method for service is an example for the entire world. She not only encourages people but is providing a role model for society in the fields of health, education and disaster relief. In all these areas its services are commendable.

MAM announces charitable projects of the value of Rs 25 crores

The 59th birthday of world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, will be celebrated on September 27, 2012 at Amritapuri, Kollam in Kerala. As has always been the practice, the occasion will see the launching of several new charitable initiatives of the MAM, as also the extension of some of the existing charitable programmes. The total cost of these programmes this year is estimated to be Rs. 25 crores. These programmes include:


1) 200 Free heart surgeries & 50 free kidney transplants:
200 free heart surgeries and 50 free kidney transplants will be available at Amrita Hospital in Kochi for poor patients across the country. People living below the poverty line will be given priority. The families availing free kidney transplants will have to find the organ donors themselves.

Since Amrita Hospital’s inauguration in 1998, MAM has provided crores worth of charitable care to 27.8 lakh poor people hailing from various States.

2)500 Free houses for the homeless:
500 free homes for the homeless constructed for the poor throughout Kerala. Amrita Kuteeram, free homes for the homeless, began in 1998. Since then, MAM has constructed more than 45,000 houses for the poor which includes more than 6,200 houses for the Tsunami victims (2004). (Ninety-six more houses were built in Sri Lanka by another organization of Amma’s devotees.) In addition to Kerala, MAM has built Amrita Kuteeram houses in more than 75 locations in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Andaman-Nicobar Island and Tamil Nadu. Most recently, MAM completed 1,000 homes in Raichur for the victims of the 2009 Karnataka floods.

3) Financial aid to families who lost someone or had someone seriously injured by explosions in Kannur & Sivakasi:
MAM will provide Rs. 1 lakh to families who lost someone in either the LPG-tanker explosion in Kannur, Kerala or the fireworks-factory explosion at Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. A sum of Rs. 50,000 will be provided to families who have someone seriously injured in the explosions as well.

4) Extending the reach of the Amrita Nidhi pension programme:
MAM will extend the reach of its all- India Amrita Nidhi programme which has been providing lifetime pensions to widows and mentally and physically challenged individuals since 1998 by bringing in an additional 3,000 recipients. This will increase the reach of the programme from 55,000 to 58,000 beneficiaries. The Amrita Nidhi programme is active in majority of states throughout India.

5)Extending the reach of the Vidyamritam scholarship programme:
MAM will also extend the reach of its Vidyamritam scholarships-for-the-poor programme to cover an additional 3,000 students, taking its total of beneficiaries from 37,000 to 40,000 across the country. The intention of this initiative started in 2007 in response to the farmer suicide epidemic, was to help lay a stronger economic foundation for impoverished agricultural families. Beneficiaries come from the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. Many of them are children who have lost one or both parents to suicide. The children (ages 10 to 15) receive a monthly stipend until they finish their education. Vidyamritam is a permanent humanitarian programme of MAM, with new students taking over the scholarships of graduates.

MAM is globally recognized as an International NGO that has been conferred with ‘Special Consultative Status’ by the United Nations. All of its charitable programmes are equally open to people of all castes, creeds and religions.

Amrita Santvanam: a project to train home nurses

27 Sep 2011, Amritapuri

Amrita Santvanam, a project to train 10,000 women to be home nurses where MAM will provide the six-month training through Amrita network of medical institutions. Aside from training, room-and-board as well as a stipend will be provided to each trainee.

Inaugurating the program during Amma’s 58th Birthday celebration, His Excellency K.Sankaranarayanan, the Governor of Maharashtra said “Amma has now become a mother for the world as a whole. People from various parts of the globe have come for Amma’s blessings. It is difficult to conceive of any human being who has the capacity to love millions of people, except Amma. No one in the world has launched a project like Amrita Santvanam, to create a cadre of 10,000 home nurses for providing care to the old and sick who are left alone by their children.”

One of the distressing health trends that has emerged in the country is an increase in the number of aged people who are sick and disabled, but have nobody within the family to take care of them at home. This alarming social phenomenon has prompted MAM to launch a pioneering initiative to create a cadre of 10,000 home nurses in Kerala of which 1000
persons will undergo professional training immediately.

IAM meditation lowers stress hormones

1 February 2011 , Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi

IAM—Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique lowers stress hormones, according to a study recently published in the 2011 volume of the international journal Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (eCAM), published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation. The five-year study, titled “The Effect of Meditation on Psycho-Physiological Variables,” examines the effect of IAM Technique on various psychological, physiological and biochemical parameters.


According to the study, practitioners of IAM Technique experience a reduction in stress-hormone adrenaline within 48 hours of beginning the practice. This reduction was shown to sustain in IAM Technique practitioners throughout the eight-month monitoring period accounted for by the study. The study also showed a decline in stress-hormone cortisol following eight months of practice. Other physiological results documented by the study include a significant decrease in the heart and respiratory rate of practitioners, as well as significant increase in IgA levels, which are associated with immunological benefits. Through the study’s psychological-evaluation component, a major change was also recorded in the attitude of practitioners towards ‘stressful events.’ This study was conducted by Ms. Vandana Balakrishnan (research scholar), under the guidance of Dr. Harish Kumar, Head of the Department of Endocrinology; Prof. L. Saraswathy (HOD); and Prof. G.K. Suseeladevi of the Department of Physiology, at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in Cochin. Prof. K.R. Sundaram, HOD, Department of Biostatistics at AIMS, provided the statistical support. The results of the study have given rise to further research, including a study on the effect of IAM Technique on relieving stress amongst cancer patients undergoing treatment, as well as the impact of the technique in relieving hypertension.

IAM Technique is taught free of charge throughout the world by representatives of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), the non-governmental organization of renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). It comprises a combination of yogic postures, breathing practices and mental-concentration exercises. MAM has been teaching the technique to the public since 2003. In 2008, at the request of the Indian government, MAM began teaching IAM Technique on a widespread scale to India’s military and paramilitary soldiers. The technique is also being taught in schools and colleges throughout India, as well as to employees of businesses corporations, including Infosys, BSNL and IIM.

Amrita Kripa Sagar – Recognition comes knocking

01 December 2010

Within seven years, what started as a hospice for HIV positive and AIDS patients, came to be recognized as “the best community care centre in Kerala, for the year 2010.” The award, by Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) consists of a trophy and citation.

Amma says ‘Love can cure diseases, heal wounded hearts and transform human minds…” Amrita Kripa Sagar, born out of Amma’s infinite love, was started by MAM in September 2003, and administered with round the clock love and compassion by Amma’s team of dedicated disciples.

The holistic approach, apart from basic medical support, provides psychological support and spiritual services. Most importantly, they who might later be ostracized by society and turned to streets by their families are taught skills to earn their own livelihood. So, identity of the inmates is kept confidential at all times.

The services further extend even to the families of the hapless HIV victims, in terms of scholarships, provisions etc.