Amrita University illuminating rural India via renewable resources

Last September, in her birthday address, Amma pointed out that India is suffering from a split personality–success when it comes to technological advancement and failure in terms of poverty, illiteracy, health sanitation and crimes against women. “A split personality is never a sign of sound health,” Amma said. “If we want to see India become powerful and healthy again, we need to merge these two faces into one beautiful face… If we can bring our collective knowledge, compassion and talent together, it will not be so long before we see India rising and thriving with peace, harmony and prosperity.” {news}

For Amma, actions are at least as important as words. As Chancellor of Amrita University, she has fostered the institution’s robust, highly acclaimed research and development with a laser-like focus on humanitarian goals and deployment in the field. Under Amma’s guidance, the university is a trailblazer in the humanitarian application of emerging technologies.

In just one of many examples, staff and students of Amrita University, along with members of Amrita Self Reliant Villages (AmritaSeRVe) worked with residents of Komalikudi, one of the 101 villages adopted by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), to identify key challenges that needed to be addressed. Approximately one third of India’s 600,000 villages do not have access to electricity. Komalikudi, a tribal settlement in Kerala well-known for its abundant natural resources, is one such village. After assessing the requirements of the village, a plan was implemented to provide electricity to the village from available hydro resources.

The team designed, developed, and installed a distribution and transmission network which included: a check dam, a network of pipes, a 5KW micro hydro generator, an underground transmission line, and a power house. This initiative of the University helped students to apply theoretical knowledge to address and solve real world challenges faced by rural communities in India. In the process, they greatly improved the lives of the people of Komalikudi and themselves underwent a life-changing experience of service-oriented innovation. The experience awakened love and compassion in their hearts as they worked together to find creative solutions to the problems of the villagers, harnessing the power of the available resources to make targeted improvements in the infrastructure of the village.

In Komalikudi, the new micro hydro generator, constructed near the perennial water stream, currently provides 24/7 electricity. Each home has four connection points with 3 lighting points and a plug point. Villagers currently use energy efficient 7 watt LED bulbs for energy conservation.

A vocational skills trainer in Komalikudi, Mrs. Shobana, said, “Earlier we had to stop our work by 5 p.m. as there was no light in the room. Now we have electricity so we can work at night. We are so grateful to Amma and her children for the help.” Echoing her sentiments, Mrs. Vellamma, a volunteer at the village’s Anganwadi said, “Now we have lights in the room so students can study at night – many thanks to Amma. We are so grateful to Amma for the support.”

In addition to access to electricity, the Amrita team designed and installed a water distribution system in the village which includes a bore well with a pump and two overhead water tanks connected to each cluster of homes through pipes. The entire water distribution framework is currently powered by the micro hydro generator. The villagers now have access to potable water throughout the year which has helped their lives to improve greatly {news}, particularly seen in the areas of sanitation and education. Access to sanitation facilities also increases the overall health of the village and encourages children and adults to adhere to better hygiene practices, greatly improving public health outcomes.

The details of the mini Hydro project in Komalikudi village
PopulationHousesPipe L&HTransmission LengthNetworkMembersLabour hours
3509082×30 M1000 M320 M498.500 +






It is the message of peace, equality and unity

October 6-8, Barcelona, Spain – Europe Yatra 2015

On all the three days huge crowds lined up around the block for their chance to meet Amma. Many were coming to meet Amma for the first time but others, like the Mayor, the Honorable Josep Mayoral, have been coming yearly to welcome Amma.

Granollers, Spain, has been hit hard by the economic crisis. There are 5,000 unemployed adults in the city, and half of them don’t have access to any form of government aid. For the third year in a row, Embracing the World is sponsoring 50 underprivileged children who are unable to afford school cafeteria and transportation as well as medical care and after school programs. Mr Mayoral accepted the donation and thanked Amma for her support of the less fortunate members of their community. He shared his thoughts with the gathered assembly “It is the message of peace, equality and unity, and she gave us this help that we deeply appreciate and that it is used so all this children can continue with all their activities like any other children in the city.”

Several other dignitaries from local and state government offices came to officially welcome Amma to the region, over the 3 days.

The final evening program of Devi Bhava lasted all night and finally ended at 9am.

Amma and the tour group then travelled to Munich, Germany for the next stop on the tour.

– Kannadi




Amrita Water Distribution System: Water Management in Rural India

Oct 2015
Under our Amrita SeRVe initiative–101 village adoption program–the people of the villages of Harirampur of Rajasthan; Guptapada, Odisha; and Komalikudi of Kerala are now able to receive water through an underground pipeline system in front of their houses. In all these villages, pipelines were laid, overhead water tanks were built, pump sets were installed, and electrical connections were made. To lay down the pipe, in several places, the team had to dig several meters into the ground. In Komalikudi, we also dug a bore well in the village’s temple compound. In Guptapada, the water pump is automated—when the water level reaches a minimum level, it will start pumping automatically.

In Komalikudi, not only all homes, but the village’s community center, the Anganwadi, and the multi-grade learning center now have access to water. Furthermore, the entire water distribution framework is powered by a micro-hydro-electric generator, as part of Amma’s commitment to using renewable resources to provide electricity to rural communities. The continuous supply of power from the generator ensures that villagers have access to clean water throughout the day for their daily needs.

A summary of the project is shown in the table below:

Village NameTotal HomesVillage Population Taps InstalledPipe lengthWater Tank Capacity Team MembersDays Spent Man hours
Harirampur65500701055 M10,000 Ltr1112014,000
Guptapada62300371250 M5,000 Ltr1312016,000
Komalikudi9035012900 M8,000 Ltr3721080,000

Villagers were extremely grateful to Amma “for bringing water to their doorstep.” Many villagers expressed how they had lost hope that anyone would ever help them since no structured roads led to the village. One of the villagers, Rajeesh Kumar Meena of Harirampur said, “Nobody wanted to come here, but Amma did, and now I want to go and see Amma.”

The village children, many of whom had never seen a water tap before, also said that Amma had done a very nice thing for them. “Amma has done so much for us, we also want to do something for Amma. What can we do?” asked the children innocently to the Amrita team members.

When the villagers of Guptapada first found out what the Amrita team intended to do, they became very enthusiastic to help. “All of you are helping us. We will also help you. This is our village. We will work with you!” they said. Urmilla, a young village woman, said that having the water tank in the village “is a great privilege” and one that will not go unacknowledged.

Seeing the work done by the Amrita team and villagers, Thathi, Komalikudi’s innocent yet wise matriarch, repeatedly said the availability of clean water inside the village was “a great blessing from Amma.” The village children who would squeal with joy every time they opened a tap, marveling at the flow of cool, clean water, echoed the same sentiment.

There was an immense amount of community participation and the villagers enthusiastically donated their time, land, and work hours to the project.

Overall Impact:
For many villagers in India, collecting and storing water is part of their daily routine. However, villagers often have to walk several kilometers to gather water necessary for themselves and their families, sometimes walking several times a day. Now, in these three villages, in addition to eliminating strenuous and repetitive commutes to water sources, inhabitants from all three villages can now conveniently use the newly built toilets in their houses, constructed by Amrita’s Sustainable Rural Sanitation Model and Training Program. Furthermore, now encouraging them to use of toilets in their own homes. Young girls and women will be safer without having to make the trek to isolated fields to relieve themselves. And with easy access to water, the overall hygiene of the villages will increase and the spread of infectious illnesses will be reduced.

This project is part of Amrita University’s commitment to deploying technology for sustainable development – solving real world problems with observable and measurable outcomes.


See pictures




Free marriages at Amritavarsham

27 Sep 2015 Amritapuri – Amritavarsham 62 , Amma’s Birthday Celebrations

Each year on Amma’s birthday, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math helps couples having financial difficulty to have a traditional Indian wedding by providing all the requisite clothing, gold jewellery and feast, etc.

Sri. Ashok Singhalji, former president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Sri. Vellapalli Natesan, the General Secretary of the SNDP Yogam, helped to give away the gold wedding jewellery to the women.





130 houses and 2 intermediate colleges

27 Sep 2015 Amritapuri – Amritavarsham 62 , Amma’s Birthday Celebrations

Over the past two decades, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math has built more than 45,000 homes for the homeless in more than 75 locations throughout India. Today, the Math extended this program by presenting keys to 130 homes and two inter-colleges in various locations throughout India.

Keys were given by: Sripad Yasso Naikji, Minister of AYUSH, Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways, N Shakthan, Speaker of the Kerala Assembly and Ramlalji, the National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party.


We are able to dream and dream big

Five young survivors of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake who have been receiving Embracing the World scholarships since then wrote a letter to Amma after graduating from high school this summer. They wrote:

“Dear Amma,
We would like to thank you for allowing us to graduate, because without your financial support this journey might not have been possible, because our country’s social and political situation sometimes doesn’t give us the chance to have dreams, but with this great support we are able to dream and dream big. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to complete our journey, we guarantee you it will not be in vain.


Picture from left: Christian Vendryes wants to study computer science and obtain a Master’s in video game programming. Barbara Ademar wants to study Civil Engineering. Quenjunie Paul and Neph Louis both want to study Medicine. Christopher Desilus wants to study Business Administration.

Once again thank you for everything from the bottom of our hearts!”

8 Aug 2015


White C(r)ane for school children in Kenya

On April 11th, 2015, seventy blind children and youth from Thika Primary School of the visually impaired received white canes as part of AYUDHs ‘White C(r)ane Project’. Initiated by blind AYUDH member Matthias, from Germany, youth across Europe had spent the past eight months raising funds to sponsor the project. As a representative of Embracing the World, Br. Shubamrita handed over the 70 canes during a special ceremony at the school, as the first phase of the Project. Speaking words of encouragement to the students, Shubamrita reminded the children that with an inspired inner vision and proper understanding of life, the children can reach the heights of success and happiness in life. He asked the children to pursue their dreams and ambitions, despite their physical challenges.

To advance the next phase of the project, Embracing the World volunteers will travel to the remaining schools for the blind in all of Kenya to look into the needs of children there and expand the project accordingly.

For days prior to the ceremony the blind children were composing and practicing a song, expressing their gratitude and appreciation towards Amma, founder and leader of the Embracing the World movement, as well as to the youth in Europe who showed their solidarity by raising the funds for the White C(r)ane Project. The song brought tears in the eyes of everybody present in the function.
– Dass


Aiding the visually impaired in Kenya

The fourth time Embracing the World teamed up with “Stop Blindness” and “Vision without Borders” to prevent blindness in Kenya. Led by Isabel Maria Signes Soler from Spain conducted 154 surgeries at the Busia Public Hospital between 10th to the 19th April 2015.


Busia County is a rural area of Kenya, near to the border with Uganda. The prescreening had been done by local ophthalmic doctors who selected the patients with cataracts and other ambulatory procedures. It was The patients were extremely grateful to have received this free and comprehensive treatment.


Most of the surgeries were to remove cataract, while some other eye problems were also treated, such as Pterigium and Conjunctival Melanoma. Young patients aged 9, 12 and 13 were also operated of traumatic cataracts. It was found that one of the widely spread conditions was uncorrected presbyopia, for which reading glasses were given to the patients free of charge.

One old woman told the doctors that she had two children but they both died. Now she was living alone and had nobody to help her. It was proving to be very difficult for her as she could not see. Her vision was less than 10% in both eyes. The team performed cataract surgery in both eyes. After the second surgery, she started dancing in joy right in the operation theater.

Another woman was suffering from leprosy and could hardly walk. She was operated in both eyes and was very happy having regained her vision.

Hon. Sospeter Odeke Ojaamong, the governor of Busia County, met with the doctors and expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for their hard work and dedication. The hearts of the beneficiaries were also filled with gratitude towards Amma and the medical team for the help they were receiving.



– Dass

2015 japan-uk

Please come to show us your smile again

This past February, 63 Japanese students from IVUSA returned to the same small village in Chandrapuri, Uttarakhand where they had helped build homes last year as part of flood relief project.

This year, the relief efforts extended to building a new school. Since the flood, students have been studying in a small, dark prefabricated hut. The energetic Japanese students were more than happy for this wonderful opportunity to serve.
The students worked on two simultaneous projects:
– demolishing the old school buildings and clearing the area.
– carrying building materials such as sand, bricks and metal to the site to make concrete

Throughout their two week stay, the students were fully energized, taking care of each other, working together as a group, and at the same time, enjoying every moment. It was beautiful to see their happiness. Everyone had the same single intention – to make people smile and happy through their service.

Each student had worked part-time jobs during the year to cover their airfare and travel expenses. Coming from a country that is full of comforts and the latest electronic products to the foot of the Himalaya Mountains where there is no hot water or electricity, the students took full advantage of this rare opportunity to get something more precious – joy and happiness – which cannot be bought.

During their stay, the students enjoyed celebrating Holi (the festival of colors), bathing in the icy cold water of the Mandakini River, eating vegetarian curry every day, and experiencing yoga in the cold on the roof with a view of the snow covered Himalayas. The students also got to see the Ganga Arathi at Har-ki-Pauri Ghat in Hardwar. The experience was beyond their imagination. Their time spent in India provided them with unforgettable memories for the rest of their lives.

One local village lady said that the Japanese students were very inspiring and very hard working. She really appreciated their coming to her village. “We are so happy to see you all!”

A student responded, “What else can we do to serve you? What more can we do next time?”

She replied, “Just please come to show us your smile again, nothing else more we want. Buhud Dhaniyavad (Thank you very much)”


women empowerment

Sanitation project in Uttarakhand

The inaugural batch of Ammachi Labs “Women’s Empowerment: Sanitation Project in Uttarakhand” has been launched in Nala village just outside of Guptakashi.

Rather than building free toilets for a few needy families, we are teaching local women the construction skills to build toilets for their entire community. Using a combination of tablet based education and hands on training Ammachi Labs will:
1) Promote health and hygene awareness.
2) Greatly improve the sanitation of the entire village.
3) Teach valuable skills which will give women a source of continuing income.
4) Instill a feeling of self respect and self reliance.


Yamuna, an Embracing the World volunteer from France, is Ammachi Labs Coordinator for Uttarakhand. She is equally at home with hands on instruction and the tablet based content which makes this program unique.


Normally these women would only carry the materials while men do all the skilled work. Today they eagerly tried their hand at new skills like measuring a site, mixing mortar, laying brick, using a plumb boband water level. Stopping only for darkness, they had built the foundation of their first toilet in just one day.
– Das