AMMA - Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi  
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Disaster Relief



Amma's Disaster Relief Work

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 rehabilitation.

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 >>



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