Empowering women through vocational training

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

Amma’s initiatives in empowering women have taken an innovative turn with the introduction of technology to deliver vocational education with, more than 2,000 women have been trained in the last year alone through 33 centers in 12 Indian states. During Amritavarsham61, Radha Mohandas Agarwal, Chief Whip, UP and Vellappilly Natesan gave away certificates of completion to graduates in such fields as plumbing, nursing, masonry and jewelry-making.

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Vocational-training is an important part of the MAM’s Amrita SeRVe village-empowerment program.

AMMACHI Lab’s Heartfelt Arts empowers women artisans and cooperatives to leverage their newly learned skills into creating beautiful handicrafts and products that generate sustainable income for their communities. In attendance, are hundreds of women artisans from 16 centers across India. On this occassion, Vellapally Natesan, General Secretary of the SNDP launched a new website www.heartfeltarts.com where they will be able to showcase their handicrafts.

Amrita Nidhi pension for widows and handicapped extended by 30,000 more

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

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The Mata Amritanandamayi Math would like to extend the reach of its Amrita Nidhi pension program, from 69,000 to 99,000–30,000 more pensions.  On this occassion of Amma’s 61st Birthday, certificates of enrollment and first pension checks to 100 of the new beneficiaries were distributed.

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Vidyamritam scholarship program extended from 46,000 to 51,000 beneficiaries

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

Mata Amritanandamayi Math extended the reach of its Vidyamritam Scholarships for the underprivileged by another 5,000.

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Vidyamritam started in 2007 and, through it, 46,000 children are currently receiving scholarships in the form of a monthly stipend until they finish their education. Vidyamritam’s reach was extended by another 5,000 students from 46,000 to 51,000 during Amritavarsham.

Approximately 100 new recipients received their scholarship checks on this occassion.

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Community wedding conducted by Amma

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

Amma conducted marriage of 63 impoverished couples, with MAM providing all marriage clothing, jewellery, feast and other arrangements needed for the marriage for free.

For the last so many years Amma has been conducting the mass marriage during her birthday celebrations.

 

Vastra danam – Giving 1.5 Lakh Saris Away

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

Amma and former Justice Sridevi distributed saris to Amrita Nidhi pensioners and mothers of students enrolled in Vidyamrita Scholarship for the poor program. (Total of 1.5 lakh saris were given away throughout the birthday programs. Representatives of villages will take saris back to their villages)

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Amritadyuti Solar Home-Lighting System

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

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Amrita Centre for Nanosciences introduced Amritadyuti, the Solar Home-Lighting System during Amma’s 61st birthday celebrations. This low-costs system consists of three LED lights, a radio and a mobile-charger powered from a solar-power system. It has been designed as a package for Amrita Kuteeram homes and village hamlets (of 101 villages of Amrita SeRVe) so as to ensure them power even if they are cut off from the main power grid.

C.N. Balakrishnan, Minister of Co-Operation unveiled Amritadyuti.

The Minister also unveiled Amrita Karshakan, a solution for farmers facing serious financial problems with regard to receiving fair compensation for their produce. It enables farmers to trade using SMS, Web and mobile platform as well as kiosks. The system also helps beneficiaries getting locally grown produce at a fair price in an efficient way. This will be a major contribution in Amrita SeRVE’s 101 Villages project.

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.

Amrita Sphuranam, village electrification project launched

The Amrita Sphuranam project of Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks and Applications, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math will be providing solar-powered electrification for the entire rural village of Motakkara in Wayanad. Amrita Sphuranam was created as part of Amrita University’s Live-in-Labs Program and the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s Amrita SeRVE initiative to make 101 villages in India totally self-reliant.

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Kerala Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy launched the solar electrification project “Amrita Sphuranam” on the occasion of Amritavarsham 61 at Amritapuri on Saturday.

Addressing the gathering, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said “Amma is a strength to the society and her birthday celebrations serve to spread the message of goodness and peace to the world”.

Deaddiction in Kerala by American University students

Two PreMed students from the USA chose to spend part of their summer break doing a rural internship project organised by Amrita University. Roshan Nair (Siena College, New York) and Divya Ramachandran (Loyola University, Illinois) spent 3 weeks, from mid July 2014, learning about the problems of alcohol addiction in Kerala. The students set a list of objectives and created a Powerpoint presentation on the dangers of alcohol addiction before setting out. They visited Njaarackal, Kalpetta, Mananthavaady and Pulpally areas to learn how the coastal and the tribal people are affected by alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. The team explained about all this with the help of some videos.

Together they all pledged not to use alcohol and quit smoking.

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“It was shocking to see that even students in first standard are aware of most issues dealing with alcohol, because they see it daily in their own family and around” says Divya.

“At the end of each class period, the children understood that they could trust us, so many of the students spoke to us freely about their family problems. I was extremely moved by all of the stories that I heard: each one left a deep impression on me while constantly reminding me that the topics we were discussing were the harsh realities that these children faced each day” said Roshan.

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Reflecting on her experience, Roshan Nair related, “In the past three weeks, I feel that I have learned more about life, the world, and myself, than I have in the past two years at college. I was able to experience and understand the pain and misery of the underprivileged tribal people who are addicted to alcohol and tobacco. Additionally, I saw on a daily basis, how these substances have torn families apart and destroyed their peace. In retrospect, I feel that perhaps Amma directed us to do this project to identify with their pain and understand how deeply rooted these problems are in their society. I am inexpressibly grateful to Amma for this invaluable opportunity.”​

– Dass