- ₹10 crores will go to the PM CARES Fund and ₹3 crores to Kerala’s CMDR Fund.
- Amma says humankind must live in better harmony with Nature to prevent future calamities.
- Amrita Hospital is providing free treatment for COVID-19 patients
- An interdisciplinary team constituting 60 faculty members of Amrita University are researching ways for various scalable solutions for relief efforts
- A 24-hour mental-health hotline is being manned by trained professionals.
13 April 2020 / Kollam, Kerala
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math announced today that it is donating ₹13 crores [$1.7 million U.S.] to help combat and contain COVID-19 as well as to provide relief to those physically, mentally and economically affected by the virus. Moreover, it will provide free care to COVID-19 patients at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital) in Kochi. Rs. 10 crores will go to the Central Government’s PM CARES Fund, and ₹3 crores will go to the Kerala Government’s Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
“Seeing the entire world hurting and crying in pain, my heart is aching deeply,” Amma said in the statement issued by the Math. “Let us all pray for the souls who have succumbed to this pandemic, for the mental peace of their families and friends, for the peace of the world, and for God’s grace.”
At Amma’s request Amrita University and Amrita Hospital have set up a mental-health hotline (0476 280 5050), where people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed due to the pandemic and its ramifications can call to get free support. Last week, Amma had publicly requested doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists to set aside time to provide counselling. “Counselling is a service needed at this time,” Amma said. “Please consider this as an appeal from Amma to doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. Whether you are believers or not, set aside one or two hours every day to provide free counselling for those who need it.”
For decades Amma has stressed the necessity of mankind changing its lifestyle to be more harmonious with Nature and warning that failure to do so would result in increased natural disasters and disease. “The selfish things man has done to Nature are now coming back in the form of such epidemics,” Amma said. “We need to develop the attitude that we are nothing but Nature’s servants. We should practise humility, servitude and respect. At least now let us stop throwing our arrogance in Nature’s face. The time has come to bow down before the forces of Nature. The time has come to beg Nature to forgive all our trespasses. The time has come to abandon the lackadaisical attitude that Nature will just forbear, suffer and forgive all the indignities we keep heaping on her. Nature is commanding us to wake up and look around. To awaken humankind, Nature is sounding a loud alarm in the form of COVID-19.”
Through its deemed university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University), the Math also has a interdisciplinary team researching ways to produce low-cost scalable medical masks, gowns and face-protection visors, as well as ventilators, rapid-setup isolation wards, units for sterilizing medical waste, and IoT means for the remote monitoring of quarantined patients. The team includes more than 60 faculty from the fields of medicine, nanoscience, AI, big data, sensor-manufacturing and material sciences.
Through online classes and interactions, Amrita students are also being engaged in Coronavirus-related curriculum and service opportunities. The Math is also in regular communication with the leaders of its 101 adopted Amrita SeRVe villages, promoting Coronavirus awareness, ensuring the villagers are aware of all the latest government-assistance programs available to them, as well as ensuring that fake news and erroneous information regarding the pandemic does not spread within their communities. Some Amrita SeRVe villagers have been trained by the Math to tailor medical masks and are fulfilling government contracts for the same.
Under Amma’s direction, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math has provided more than ₹500 crore in disaster relief since 2005. This has included the provision of financial support, household items, free healthcare and even construction of new homes, etc.
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)
Spiritual leader and humanitarian Amma has dedicated her life to uplifting the poor, sick and needy. For more than 40 years she has spent the majority of each day receiving one and all who come to her, listening to their problems and holding them with a heartfelt motherly embrace.Throughout her life, Amma has embraced and comforted more than four crore people. She has delivered addresses at the United Nations several times and has spoken twice at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Among other accolades, she has received the Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence in Geneva, the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award in New York, and an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York. In 2014, at the invitation of His Holiness Pope Francis, Amma was one of 12 religious and spiritual leaders to travel to the Vatican to sign a joint declaration against modern slavery. When asked where she gets the energy to help so many people while also building and running a massive humanitarian organization, Amma answers: “Where there is true love, everything is effortless. Love transforms.” For more information: www.amritapuri.org.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Amma’s organization exists to help alleviate the burden of the poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs—food, shelter, healthcare, education, and livelihood—wherever and whenever possible. MAM is especially focused on helping to meet these needs in the aftermath of major disasters. To date, MAM has provided free medical care to more than four million people. It has built more than 47,000 homes for the homeless throughout India and has provided financial aid for more than one lakh people unable to care for themselves. MAM is also providing educational assistance to 50,000 students. Moreover it is offering vocational-training, literacy-training, running orphanages, hospices, old-age homes, scholarship programs, planting trees and managing environmental-protection programs. MAM and its sister organization Embracing the World have done massive relief-and-rehabilitation work following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as in response to flooding in Mumbai, Gujarat, Chennai and Bihar, Uttarakhand, as well as in response to earthquakes in Kashmir, Nepal, Haiti and Japan, cyclones in West Bengal and the Philippines, and hurricanes in the United States. For more information: www.amritapuri.org.