Training the tribal youth in Attappadi

25 Oct 2014, Attappadi, Kerala

Computer training, tailoring classes started for the tribal youth in Attappadi. They also taught to make soap powder and cleaning lotion so that they can earn their daily bread.

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Making soap powder

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Computer education

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Making cleaning lotion

 

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.

—Tulasi

AMMACHI Labs to setup vocational institutes in 101 villages

AMMACHI Labs to setup vocational institutes in 101 villages whcih would be adopted by MAM. The institutes would be centred around Computerized Vocational & Education Training (cVET) and Life-Enrichment Education (LEE) systems developed and managed by AMMACHI Labs.

AMMACHI Labs has already provided training to more than 1,000 women in fields such as plumbing through haptics technology, mobile teaching labs and other programmes. “

“AMMACHI Labs has always had a special focus on training women because research shows that woman are more likely than men to use money earned for the upliftment of the family,” said Bhavani Bijalani, director of the Labs.

AMMACHI Labs is one of the R&D departments at Amrita University.

 

Clicking their way to a brighter future

Kalpetta, Wayanad, 7 Nov 2008

Young Manikanden stares intently at his computer and then clicks the mouse.  This twenty-year-old tribal boy is clicking his way to a brighter future.  His is taking a Business Office computer course offered by the Village Resource Center in Kalpetta.   He has been working as a day laborer, but with this course under his belt, he is confident that he can bag an office job.

There is a keen interest in this low-cost course, located on the premises of the Amrita Kripa Charitable Hospital-Kalpetta.  The first batch of 22 students is now getting ready to complete the approximately fifty-hour course and there is a long waiting list for the next batch.    The dedicated teachers, Mr. Sujith and Mr. Mukundan say that the students are highly motivated and attend class punctually and consistently.  They particularly enjoy their work, as they know the course will uplift segments of the tribal community that are struggling financially.

Eighteen-year-old Rajani is also confident she will have the skills to manage a computer in an office or shop.  Like most of the other students, she had only had computer theory in school and no experience using an actual computer.  She is grateful to be gaining valuable skills that would have been impossible without this course.  At the end of the course, the students will have an exam certificate in hand.

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The Kalpetta center is one among many centers in the Amrita-ISRO VRC network. {news} In addition to the computer classes, the center offers a popular series of teleconferencing classes.  The topics center on agriculture and health issues.  Agricultural topics include biodiversity, organic farming and water management.   Health education sessions have included HIV-AIDS prevention, TB prevention and detection, hypertension and diabetes prevention and treatment, as well as information on the dangers of waterborne diseases.

When the students bent over their keyboards, the attentive instructors keep an eye out for any difficulty.   Such a simple, small program seems likely to make a big difference in the futures of many young people in the area.

– Tulasi

Amrita has a major role to play in transforming our society

President of India launches Amrita ISRO satellite network of village resource centers

6 July 2005, Ettimadai, Coimbatore.

In a packed colourful function attended by over 4000 people plus hundreds of people at 9 centers, the President of India, His Excellency, Bharat Ratna, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam launched the Amrita ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) joint initiative in ‘Village Resource Centers’ on 6 July, 2005 at the Ettimadai campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri Surjit Singh Barnala, Tamil Nadu Education Minister, Shri Shanmugham, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of ISRO, Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya, Chief Operating Officer of AMRITA Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita University were also present on the dais. More than 25 CEOs and senior executives from leading IT and Financial Services Companies also attended the launch.

“Science needs direction from spirituality. While we accomplish immense growth in computer education and Internet experimentation, we should not forget the truth that that it is spirituality that teaches us how to use knowledge with discrimination”, said Amma.

In his speech for students, Dr. Kalam said, “Amrita University has a major role to play in transforming our society into a knowledge society through it’s unique value-added education system”. He also added that he was happy that the Amrita ISRO VRC’s had a mission of taking space technology and knowledge products from the University directly for communities at the grass root level like fisheries and agriculture. He also emphasized on the need to establish Village Panchayat Knowledge Centers to empower villagers.  He also asked the students to repeat with him, learning gives creativity & creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor Dr. P. Venkat Rangan welcomed the gathering. Shri Barnala released the brochure of the new venture. Dr. Madhavan Nair gave a brief overview on the latest initiatives of ISRO. He also commended the support provided by Amrita in implanting tele-medicine and tele-education services across India. Incidentally, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences hosts one of the largest tele-medicine networks in India connecting to over 36 remote rural hospitals as far flung as Leh-Ladakh. In two years it has already done over 800 tele consultations and 250 CME programmes seminars and conferences including a heart surgery and kidney conference.

Tele-education partners, Balu Doraiasamy, (Hewlett Packard), N. Lakshmi Narayanan (Cognizant), Sudev Muthyah (Microsoft) and Ranajoy Punja (CISCO) announced their support and participation in this Amrita ISRO rural development project. Likewise Tele-Medicine project partners Krishna Dhawan (Oracle) and Ketan Sampath (Intel); Tele-agriculture partner, Tele-fisheries partner Harishankar (IL & FS) announced their intent to participate.  Shri K. Dinesh, Co-founder and Director –Infosys and MD of Ashraya Hasta announced support for the Disaster Management service of the VRC. 10 Amrita VRCs spread across 2 states were live and their interactions created quite a flutter. The Tele-education demo by Kozhikode Amrita Vidyalayam principal, Shobha Gopala Krishnan was superb.

Science needs direction from spirituality

Amma’s message send from Dallas, USA for the launch of Amrita-ISRO VRC network launch.

Amma bows down to everyone, who are the embodiments of pure Love and the Supreme Self.

Amma is pleased to learn that the inauguration of the AMRITA ISRO Village Resource Center is being conducted in the esteemed presence of the Honourable President of India. It makes Amma’s heart full just to think that today, the villages of India are on the path of development.

India’s growth lies in the growth of her villages. Yet, when we work with the intent of improving our villages, it is essential to realize that we should not spoil their pristine beauty. This beauty is inherent in the innocence and simplicity of the villagers and the customs and traditions they have been following for generations. Just as it is our responsibility to modernize our villages, we should also see it as our duty to carefully preserve the charm that our culture lends them.

Education is not just to increase our brainpower. It should also have the capacity to touch and awaken our hearts.

Amma has heard a story about computers in the future. In the future, there will be this computer that runs 24 hours a day, and it will be operated by a man and a dog. The man’s job will be to feed the dog and the dog’s job will be to stop the man from touching the computer!

Though this is just a humorous anecdote, it contains a hidden warning, too. Although any kind of knowledge first begins as a means to benefit humanity, as time goes on, man’s selfishness gradually brings it to its destruction.

When we accomplish immense leaps in computer education and Internet experimentation, we should not forget the truth that it is spirituality that teaches us how to use knowledge with discrimination. Only man has the power to turn good into evil and evil into good.

In this age, when computers and the Internet are becoming more and more prominent on the education scene, we should give our students the capacity and discrimination to distinguish between good and evil.

Amma prays to the Paramatman, Supreme Being that the program organized here today may become successful in achieving this goal.

Amrita joins hands with ISRO for rural development

6 July, 2005 at AMRITA University Campus in Coimbatore

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary University is collaborating with ISRO, India’s foremost agency for space technology and research, to launch the AMRITA-ISRO VRC Satellite Network, (centers that connect) a comprehensive Satellite-based Rural Transformation Initiative

ISRO’s vision of the VRC (Village Resource Center) initiative is to create and implement a sustainable, scalable, space technology-supported community infrastructure catalysing the transformation of rural India. The benefits that VRCs are expected to deliver to rural India cover a broad spectrum:

Tele-Education: Using best available teachers to deliver superb quality education to large number of rural area schools across the country over the satellite network interactively via multimedia enhanced content; Imparting skill-based training in tune with local needs of the rural population.

Tele-Medicine: Delivering basic and specialized healthcare, preventive and diagnostic services digitally at every rural doorstep via satellite networks

Tele-Agriculture, Tele-Fisheries, etc.: Enhancing agricultural, fishing, and other rural occupational productivity with active assistance of timely scientific information on earth (soil, land use, etc.), water, weather, etc.

Disaster warning and management, etc.

Rural entrepreneurship with the help of micro-financing, etc.

Thus, the VRC initiative is an ambitious attempt at overall development of India’s vast rural landscape with the help of the best of communication and information technologies.

Thus, the VRC initiative is an ambitious attempt at overall development of India’s vast rural landscape with the help of the best of communication and information technologies.
Project Partners

The AMRITA-ISRO VRC Project is a one-of-its-kind University-Government-Industry partnership. AMRITA has brought in some of the foremost multinational companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Oracle, TCS, and financial firms such as IL&FS and Dhanalakshmi Bank, as technology and funding partners, to actively support this landmark initiative to launch 10 Village Resource Centers on the Satellite Network across India in the first phase.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has distinguished itself as a dynamic University well on its way to becoming a world class institution of learning, education, and research in a multitude of disciplines.  Amrita has launched numerous projects of both societal importance to our Nation and scientific relevance to the World.  The Amrita-ISRO VRC Project stands out among these by taking the benefits of satellite network to the common man’s doorstep.

President of India to launch AMRITA-ISRO VRC Network

3 July 2005, Coimbatore.

The President of India, His Excellency, Bharat Ratna, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam would launch, “AMRITA- ISRO Village Resource Center (VRC)” an innovative project for rural transformation to be jointly carried by Amrita and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 6th July 2005 at 9.00 AM at the Coimbatore Campus of Amrita University). Padmabhushan Dr. G. Madhavan Nair would deliver a distinguished address for this launch.

ISRO’s objective of utilizing state-of-the art Satellite technology for rural development and Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham vision of “Self Reliant Village” is being realized through this joint venture. This initiative is yet another milestone in the societal transformation revolution carried out by Amma.

Amrita has a vast network of over 70 educational institutions, 5 hospitals and weekly medical camps in our centers all over the country. Amrita University has got the country’s first of it’s kind multi-disciplinary, multimedia satellite network with 4-way audio-visual capability connecting it’s campuses at Coimbatore, Kochi, Amritapuri and Bangalore. The way in which Amrita handled the disaster management and relief activities after the tsunami is unparalleled . Amrita is in the forefront of utilizing space technology for societal needs. And this synergy with ISRO is taking shape in VRC.

Currently 10 centers of Amrita will be connected by this network. All these 10 centers will be live on the screen when Mr. Kalam inaugurates at Ettimadai, Coimbatore. All these centers will be interacting with the President of India.

Amrita TV is airing this programme live. Not only the people of India, but the people of USA and UAE also will be able to see this programme. Stay tuned.