I have spent about 2 months at the Amritapuri Ashram in Kerla, India over the past two years. I went as a volunteer and partcipated in various Ashram activities such as food service and education. While there I was personally able to witness the extraordinary results of the many faceted efforts of M.A. Math. For example I was able to visit an orphanage in Kerala which is totally supported by M.A. Math. The children there seemed very happy. They are receiving an excellent education and are well trained in the fine arts such as dance and music. I also observed students at an engineering college near the Ashram which is totally supported by M.A. Math. In talking to some students I was very impressed by the fact that the percentage of female engineering students is nearly the same as the percentage of male students! This is only one of many colleges, high schools and elementary schools in India built and supported by M.A. Math. In the area near the ashram I observed numerous new homes built by M.A. Math following the tsunami. M.A. Math built a total of 6,200 homes for tsunami victims in India, Sri Lanka and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. M.A. Math has much experience in providing housing to the needy because they have built over 25,000 homes in India for the homeless and plan to build at least 75,000 more. Another project prompted by the tsumani was the construction of the Armita Setu Bride inaurgurated by the President of India on Dec. 26th, 2006. This bridge connects the peninsula of Alappad Panchayat with the mainland of Kerala. If there is another natural disaster in that area the bride will provide a centralized escape route that did not exist at the time of the tsunami. I I marveled at the beauty and technolocy of this bridge each time I walked across it during my two months visit. There are many many more projects of M.A. Math. I have only mentioned a few of them because those were the ones I had the most direct contact with. I hope the work of M.A. Math will be recognized by InDiya Awards.
Om Namah Shivaya, Amma has been a guiding light in my life. Sometimes my eyes have been closed but She has always been there. She is the embodiment of Love. At Her Feet, L
India is a country of billions. I grew up in India in a beautiful state called Kerala. I lived there until the 1980 when I got married and emigrated to the USA. Living in India, I have always wondered about the vast divide between people in the same country, same city and even the same town. Although Gandhi tried his best to bring all castes together, Indians, esp the high caste Indians, refused to assimilate. They always saw themselves as God's children while the rest of us were "ignored by God". The conditions in which women lived were even more disastrous. The lower caste women were the "lowest of the untouchables". No one helped them and they were abused by the Brahmins as well as the rest of the castes. In 2004 I heard about the work of MAM and was inspired enough to make a visit there. I was thrilled to see people working in her organization regardless of nationality, caste or religion! I soon learned that she had started schools for poor children (regardsless of caste, which is something new to India), even girls were given attention (WOW) and in addition to that, she used all the collections to create good hospitals for the poor. In India, men have all the power and women have nothing. So when men become alcoholics or men die, the women usually have to beg for food. Amma also found ways to help the women learn to sustain themselves! She gifted them brand new sewing machines and also taught them to sew! Now many of them have their own businesses! wow! During the Tsunami, Amma showed her benevolence by providing houses for people! She cajoled, begged and borrowed to make simple but sufficient houses for those who were living in huts! In a way, the people were better off after the Tsunami!! She is really an AMMA (Mother) to everyone regardless of caste or religion! WOW. I am sure she has changed the negative attitude of a lot of people in India into a positive one and also shown others by example what "looking out for each other" means. It has certainly changed my perspective on giving. When Hurricane Katrina came lashing through three states in the US, Amma gave a donation to President Clinton who was in charge of the organization which was collecting the donations. I have NEVER heard of any Indian organization giving to the USA or any other country in need! That was an eye-opener for me as well as for all of India, I am sure :) India has a lot of rich people, but they are more interested in giving lavish weddings to their daughters and spending millions to impress others. I am not kidding! It is refreshing and totally inspiring that a person who lived about 50 miles from my home in Kerala has made a mark (like Gandhi did) not only in her own home, but outside the country too! I wish there were many more Ammas like her in every country! Thanks for listening! Maya Nair Alpharetta, GA.
Amma's program, Embracing the World feeds more than 2 million people in India annually. I have not been to India but I have helped feed the homeless in California following Amma's example.
Amma changed my life and my business. Her counsel, leadership and insight has led us to greater prosperity, centeredness and filial strength... allowing us to be of greater service to our community. In one case, she advised us on how to complete a specific project for our company with which we were experiencing difficulties due to not knowing how to manage the people involved. Her insights she offered allowed us to facilitate solidarity with the project team and allowed us to surpass our intended goals!
In the twenty years that have passed since first visiting Mata Amritanandamayi Math i have been astounded, moved and inspired to participate in the tremendous amount of work initiated by Amma. Not only have i witnessed Amma personally console millions of people and express an interest in the lives of countless individuals, but i have also seen hospitals, orphanages, houses, clinics, tsunami relief and more blossom as a result of Her vision. It is without doubt that Amma's work should be recognized and given the highest of accolades, even though Amma Herself has no desire for awards or recognition.
Through Amma's Love and guidance since 2006, I have been able to work with returning military all over the world.
I have been completely overwhelmed and inspired by the amount of good work that this organization does - from the villages and homes that were rebuilt after the Tsunami, to the thousands of scholarships for school children in India, to the self-empowerment programs for village women, to programs to prevent coastal erosion. Significant economic development work is being done on so many different levels simultaneously, by volunteers from every walk of life!