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)




Amritadyuti Solar Home-Lighting System

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

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.


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.


“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.


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


Amrita SeRVe snapshots

Nearly 11 months have passed since Amrita SeRVe was officially launched during Amma’s 60th birthday celebrations. Village clusters have been identified in 27 states of India and work has begun in the seven focus areas of Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Eco-Friendly Infrastructure, Income Generation and Self-Empowerment.
Many activities are ongoing in all states. Below we provide a snap shot of some of these activities.


In Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan, as in many other parts in India, women will often not sit on a chair when men are present. They will keep their faces covered with veils. Amrita SeRVe is endeavoring to empower them through forming self-reliant groups or SRGs that will tackle problems in areas of Health, Education, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, etc.
In rural India, there are few doctors and nurses. In our villages in the Kondagaon district of Chattisgarh, as in some other states, trained health workers are now regularly conducting medical camps. Training at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences will empower more SRG members focusing on health so that they can themselves solve basic problems in the community.
Open defecation, where it exists, contaminates the environment and causes many health problems. And where toilets exist, often the waste water ends up polluting water bodies. Our goal is to address these issues as we begin to solve the problem of sanitation. In our villages in Khurda district of Odisha and in some other states, the quest has already begun.
In many rural places, women and children have to fetch water from faraway places. In our tribal villages in Wayanad district in Kerala, for instance, people needed to haul water from the bottom of a hill for their daily needs. Now wells have been dug and Amrita SeRVe has made arrangements to bring relief to this community.
Planting trees, making check dams, and digging ponds – all these help to harvest rainwater and recharge ground water. In Ransai village in Maharashtra, the goal is that the well that now dries up during the summer season will have water all year long. The first step is to raise awareness, so that all villagers enthusiastically come together and participate in watershed projects.


Raising awareness is also the first step to making the transition to organic agriculture. Farmers from many of our villages, such as in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, are being trained to adopt natural ways of farming. How wonderful it would be, if the whole village completely stopped the use of expensive and harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Over 30% of the people in Bihar are illiterate. The Amrita SeRVe education team is committed to changing that. It is focusing both on adult literacy and back-to-school camps especially for children who have recently discontinued studies. For those in school, free tuition support is being provided so that they may do well in studies.
Free tuition classes are also on going in Madhya Pradesh and many other states. The tuition teacher is often a young graduate from the village itself, and sometimes has students from many different classes. Innovative learning programs on tablets help as the students are empowered to learn together in groups and on their own.
For youth who have no jobs, Amrita SeRVe is providing support through vocational training. The goal is to check migration and provide opportunities for income generation in the village itself. Using local resources and making value-added products, especially from agricultural produce has begun in our villages in many states such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
In villages such as Udalaka and Asthal in Uttarakhand, Amrita SeRVe is continuing the work of the post-disaster reconstruction and relief teams … re-building communities and lives. Several people from these villages met Amma for the first time when they traveled to Amritapuri during Amma’s 60th birthday celebrations. Amma continues to remain a strong presence in their lives.

“I have only one desire now – to meet Amma soon,” say others, like Neetu Devi. Perhaps the opportunity will come soon – during Amma’s 61st birthday celebrations. Amrita SeRVe is now serving in 27 states of India. Villagers everywhere are making plans to come to Amritapuri for Amma’s darshan. The miracle of Amma’s love is starting to change their very lives.

When Amma visited Ranchi in Jharkhand in 2006, the villagers in Dev Gain met Amma for the first time. “Not a day goes by when I don’t remember Amma,” says Bharath. Today Bharath coordinates all Amrita SeRVe activities in his village, chosen as one of Amma’s 101 villages from all over India.
– Dass

Employment, medical care and clothing for tribals

19 August 2014 – Amritapuri Ashram

This past week more than 70 tribals and villagers from remote areas — all living below the poverty line — came to Amritapuri Ashram for Amma’s darshan. Inspired by Amma’s efforts to uplift the remote village populations throughout India, devotees and ashram residents helped to bring the villagers here to meet Amma.

Feeling compassion at the sight of their innocence and deep economic plight, Amma offered 20 of them — who had come from Eastern Kerala — employment at Amrita Hospital in Cochin. There, they will receive free room-and-board as well as salaries for assisting in offices, delivering meals to patients and serving as orderlies. Amma also offered to sponsor the higher education of one girl who, having recently completed her 12th standard studies, was amongst the highest educated in her village.

Many of the villagers had never left their panchayats (villages) before, not even to go to nearby cities. Having never interacted with the world outside their village, the tribals from Dummiragunda Mandalam (Visakhapattinam District, Seema Andhra) even had to be shown how to dress in a manner suitable for modern society.
They also had to be taught how to use showers and toilets at the ashram, as they had no previous experience with such amenities. In fact, because their village’s nearest source of clean water is three kilometers away, they were not even used to regularly bathing.

Much of the poverty and lack of resources in villages like these stems from their remoteness. With schools providing education beyond 7th standard being as many as 50 kilometers away via forest roads, few are able to attend.

When a husband and wife from Kallar (near Adimudi in Idukki District, Kerala) came for Amma’s darshan, the husband complained to Amma that his wife was so obsessed with cleanliness that she forced all their guests to take a bath before entering their dwelling, and she would spend hours in the bathroom washing her hands. He told Amma that he thought she was arrogant and he had begun twisting her arm to try to stop her behavior. Amma explained to the man that the woman must be suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Amma then arranged for the woman to see a psychiatrist at Amrita Hospital and get the care she needed to treat the disorder.

This past June, devotees had already arranged a medical camp in Badimela (Visakhapattinam District, Seema Andhra), with doctors providing totally free checkups and medicine there for more than 500 people. On August 27th, a similar camp will be held with doctors from Amrita Hospital in Kattamudikad (near Munnar, Idukki District), the home of another group of villagers who happily visited Amma this week.

“Even though many of them lack education and are not civilized by our standards, they have the culture of spirituality within,” Amma said, as she watched the group from Badimela offering a tribal dance during darshan. Afterwards, Amma lovingly embraced every one of them and personally handed each woman a brand-new sari and each man a brand-new shirt. The organizer of the villagers’ trip presented Amma with indigenous seeds and plants from the tribal regions.

More such villagers from Mankulam Puram (near Munnar) will arrive tomorrow.


Amma’s Women Empowerment Project is Role Model for Entire World says U.N.

3 May 2014 – Amritapuri Ashram

More than 1,500 women from various parts of India poured into Amritapuri for the two-day event “A Celebration of Empowerment.” This was the capstone event of AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment project, co-funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and Amrita University. The participants all shared one thing in common: they were graduates of AMMACHI Labs’ unique computerized vocational education and life-enrichment education courses.

Video: Amma talks about the plight of women and relates a heartrending true story that illustrates why programs like AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment project are so important. This project successfully trained more than 3,000 women with vocational and life skills in less than 18 months.

The chief guests of the celebration, who graced the dias along with Amma, were Her Excellency the Governor of Kerala Smt. Sheila Dikshit; the Head of the United Nations in India, Ms. Lise Grande; and renowned film actor Kunchacko Boban.

Ms. Grande praised the AMMACHI Labs’ Women Empowerment project, saying, “[The United Nations] scours the world looking for the best projects, the most innovative projects, the projects which will have the highest impact. The one we’ve chosen for India is this project, and we chose it because AMMACHI Labs is the most creative way of empowering women. Of all of the projects which the UN funds around the world, this is the one dearest to our heart. It’s the one were most proud of. And it’s the one that we intend to take to the rest of the world so that they can learn from what you have achieved.”

Over a span of 18 months, 3,136 women were trained via 28 of Ammachi Labs’ Women Empowerment Centers across Kerala and Tamil Nadu, both permanent and mobile. In the process, they set up 30 Self Help Groups, seven small businesses, and earned a collective income of more than one million rupees [Rs. 10 lakhs] within 3 months of completing the course. Courses included plumbing, fabric-painting and jewelry-making. Furthermore, the graduates also led more than 70 community awareness and action campaigns, ranging from alcohol abuse to environmental protection.

“Empowerment to us is more than mere economic success. The goal is to equip women with an enhanced ability to participate in the democratic process and increased capacity to make decisions at the individual, family and community levels,” said Director of AMMACHI Labs, Professor Bhavani. “Economic and socio-economic empowerment of women were achieved simultaneously through the delivery of AMMACHI Labs’ cVET and LEE program, both tailored to the participant’s specific needs.”

Governor Dikshit praised Amma as both a humanitarian and a spiritual leader. “Amma, in the spirit with which she works—with love and compassion and an ever-smiling face—gives us all the courage to stand up and live by the ideals that she has taught us. … My congratulations and grateful thanks to her for having given confidence and equality to our women.”

Both UN Representative Grande and Governor Dikshit, together with Amma, then awarded prizes to 23 women who’s AMMACHI Labs’ Self-Help Groups have excelled since their training.

Award-winning actor Kunchacko Boban offered his support of the project and said, “Women Empowerment … is something the Mata Amritanandamayi Math understands, not just in words, but in deeds.”

The program concluded with a short talk by Amma. “Today is a day of joy and satisfaction,” Amma said. “Women face many difficulties and challenges in daily life. It is good if we can help inspire them. The difficulties that the common woman faces in her family and social life are not small. There are economic problems, family problems, safety problems… For women in such circumstances to be able to find a profession and thereby stand on their own two feet comes as a great source of relief for them. That said, even then, problems persist—problems at home, problems with their children, problems at work… When these combine, it can be a tremendous weight to bear. When such women are provided with self-confidence, training and wise-counseling, their lives develop new meaning. In reality, the key to woman’s liberty lies in her own hands. In order to realize this, women need determination, forbearance and constant effort. On our part, we need to provide them with a little encouragement and guidance. If provided with the right opportunities, any woman can become a role-model for society.”

Amma then gave darshan to all the women and to their families. These ladies had put up stalls in the ashram to showcase their achievements. The stalls contained artwork, jewelry, painted fabrics, bags, pillows and other products they had produced. But when visiting the stalls, nothing shined brighter than the confident smiles on the faces of the Women Empowerment graduates.

– Kannadi