Since 2001, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), has responded to a number of natural disasters, providing both immediate emergency relief and implementing
long-term rehabilitation programmes. Amma’s main hospital, AIMS, provides instant, expert medical care. MAM’s housebuilding team offers instant aid in reconstruction.
Education, retraining and job opportunities are also provided.
Amma’s charitable organization, MAM, has such a vast,
multifaceted infrastructure that when a major
disaster strikes anywhere in India, Amma is able to
immediately send out her monastic disciples and
volunteers, including professionals in various fields,
to take care of every aspect of disaster relief, from
emergency work to long-term rebuilding and
Amma’s compassion is the very hub of these
projects. Her empathy and concern for the disaster
victims is so complete that she responds to every
detail of their suffering. She finds solutions that are
often astonishingly touching and beautiful—for
example, mothers who have lost their children are
given jobs looking after children who lost their
parents in the same disaster. After the tsunami struck
the coast near Amritapuri Ashram, most children
living in the neighboring villages were terrified of
water. Amma asked the foreign residents at the
Ashram to teach the children to swim. Then, Amma
herself came out one day and gave them swimming
lessons. The children, who previously couldn’t swim
at all and at first were petrified to even touch the
water, are today swimming right across the pool. It
is difficult to get them out of the water!
With her tsunami disaster relief work, Amma is
offering opportunities that can uplift the lives of
coastal villagers. Before the disaster, village life went
on as it had for decades; people eeked out a simple
living, or as in the case of most village women, had
no possibility to earn a living at all. Now, in response
to their pleas for help, Amma is providing hundreds
of villagers with free vocational training of their
choice. Their lives are changed in ways they could
never have imagined.
After the earthquake in Gujarat in 2001, Amma sent a large group of medical
specialists and volunteers to the area. Just over one
year later, three entire villages had been completely
rebuilt through Amma’s disaster relief programme.
When four years later, the Gujarat villagers heard that
the area around Amma’s ashram had been devastated
by the tsunami, they collected 20 tons of grain,
blankets and clothing for the tsunami victims in
Amma’s care. A group of the village leaders then made
the three-day journey to Kerala to help Amma rebuild
the houses in the area.
They said, “Amma, when we
needed help, you were there for us. Now it is our
duty to help you.” They helped in another way, as
well. They brought hope to the traumatized villagers,
because they themselves had also recently lost
everything, but had recovered beautifully—largely
because of Amma’s extraordinary compassion.
Read more about Amma's Ongoing Disaster Relief Work >>