31st December 2004
In the wee hours of the New Year, while Amma was giving prasad to one and all in the Ashram, the brahmachari incharge of the kitchen came to Amma. He told Her that the vehicle delivering the supply of rava to be used in making the morning’s uppama for the relief camps had broken down. It would take four hours to take another vehicle and get the sacks of rava to the Ashram kitchen. It would take another three hours to prepare the food. It would definitely not be possible to prepare the uppama in time for its breakfast distribution at the relief camps.
Amma immediately told him to contact some devotees living in the nearby town of Kayamkulam who owned shops and to try to obtain the rava and other necessary supplies from them. The calls were made, the devotees were woken up, they greatfully pitched in and the breakfast was made on time.
The main concern of the hour is that school is restaring on Monday, 3 January, as the Christmas holidays are coming to an end. The government is asking the evacuees being accommodated in the schools to vacate.
Amma has instructed the brahmacharis to start contstructing temporary shelter for the displace on 10-acres of Ashram-owned land in Sryaikkad, about one kilometre from the Ashram.
With the turning of the New Year came about three hours of out-of-season rain. In a way, it was a blessing, as the rain was strong enough to give a good cleansing to the land, leaching away the salt, givinng the wilting plants and trees a respite. However, many people staying on the open ground have now been forced inside, resulting in crowding at the relief camps.
The two camps run by the Ashram are also becoming more and more crowded, as many evacuees have shifted there from other camps, knowing that the conditions at the Ashram-run camps are superior.
Groups of ashramites and visiting devotees—both from India and abroad—have begun regular cleaning and maintenance work at the government-run relief camps. As important as the work they are doing is the feeling of oneness they are creating within the community.