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Amma's Blazing Compassion

Embracing the World

Reading Amma’s biography written by Swami Amritaswarupananda, we get a glimpse of Amma’s intensely compassionate nature which began as a small girl and continues unabated to this day.

We have already mentioned hugging millions of people and how Amma is motivated to do this because of her immense love and compassion.  This is especially true considering how much pain her body has suffered through the years due to so many hours of hugging.

We have visited her near daily exits from this world in her early years about which she commented that she had to make an effort to stay in this world and this was done out of her compassion for suffering humanity.  She instructed those close to her to chant certain mantras and sing certain songs to coax her back because there was a danger of her not returning.

Jesus said that we could know a true prophet by their fruit.  No saint in the history of the world has produced as much fruit in the span of their lifetimes as Amma.  And Amma is not done yet!

Amma’s Charities

“Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”  Jesus,  Matthew 7:20, NIV

It is mind numbing to consider all of Amma’s charities.  It is doubly astonishing to consider that all this has been put in place by a woman with only a fourth-grade education.  This inspiring story of love and compassion is described in detail in Amma’s biography.

Amma’s charities are operated by a not-for-profit organization called Embracing the World which is run by Amma’s disciples and volunteers.   There are no paid executives making wages or salaries.

It should be noted that Amma herself lives a life of great austerity occupying a very small space of only a few hundred square feet at her ashram.  She wears only the plainest white clothes and has virtually no personal possessions other than a few items like an ink pen and a hairbrush.  When she is flying, she insists on riding in the economy seats.

There is a wonderful documentary about Amma’s numerous charities titled Embracing the World.  At the time of this writing, it is available for free on YouTube and it is highly recommended to watch it to get the full scope and impact of Amma’s charities.

Helping Women

Vocational Training for 100,000 Women

To equip economically vulnerable women with the skills and means to set up cottage industries, more than 6,000 self-help groups for women across India and 1,000 groups in the nearby Andaman Islands have been established.

Microcredit Loans Get Them Started

So far, ETW has helped 3,500 of these groups receive microcredit loans -- benefitting more than 60,000 families.

Life & Accident Insurance to Protect their Family's Future

Every member of the self-help groups has been enrolled in a plan with the Life Insurance Corporation of India. As part of the agreement, the insurance company also provides scholarships to 15% of the policyholder's children. Each year, these scholarships will rotate, so every family can benefit.

Training for 100,000 Home Nurses


Main campus of Amrita University


100,000 scholarships for children from desperately impoverished agricultural communities and those affected by AIDS

Special schools for the hearing-impaired and mentally challenged

Award winning literacy and vocational training for adults from India's poorest tribal communities, offering over 100 courses ranging from candle making to computer science

Free vocational training for 500 teenagers in 11 trades with an 80% graduation rate

A secondary school with 3,500 students, the largest school in the Indian State of Kerala

Disaster Relief

A mobile telemedicine unit the size of a large bus takes sophisticated medical service to disaster-stricken areas.


$1 Million: Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, 2011

$10.7 million: Karnataka / Andhra Pradesh Floods, 2009

Food, clothing, bedding and blankets distributed

Medical care for 500+ people per day

$465,000: Bihar Floods, 2008

Medical team in place for two months, treating 50,000

Thousands of tents, blankets and tarpaulins distributed

$1 Million: Hurricane Katrina, 2005

$46 Million: Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2004

Building Homes

Building not just 100,000 homes for the homeless but whole communities complete with town halls, roads, wells, electricity, sewage systems and clean drinking water


More than 1,600 families relocated from slums into new apartments

6,200 new homes for victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami

2,000 new homes for flood victims in Raichur

1,200 new homes for victims of the Gujarat Earthquake in 2009


Care Homes for Children

Kerala, India

Kerala orphanageRunning an orphanage for 500 children for the last 20 years, where the children consistently win awards in music, sports and dance.  More than 1 in 3 go on to earn college degrees

Kenya, Africa

Orphanage Kenya


In April 2011, during Amma’s visit to Nairobi, the Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya opened the Amrita Watoto Boma Care Home for Children. Initially, the children’s home will accommodate 50 children.

Two other projects were also inaugurated:

A Vocational Training Centre, equipped with 35 computers to serve the nearby slum settlement, and

A Drinking Water Distribution Project will provide daily, clean drinking water


Fighting Hunger

Feeding more than 10 million people a year in India

Distributing uncooked rice, milk and other staples to deeply impoverished communities

Providing six million free meals and 185 tons of uncooked rice in the first six months after the 2006 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Serving more than 100,000 meals every year to the homeless and hungry internationally

Feeding more than 75,000 people every year in 40 cities throughout North America


More than $60 Million in free medical care since 1998

5.5 Million patients treated - 2 Million patients treated for free

AIMS Hospitals: 1,450 beds with an attached medical college with a 400 bed facility, offering free or subsidized care

AIMS hospital


As of this writing construction has started on a 2,000 bed hospital in Delhi.

Delhi hospital

A Mobile Telemedicine Unit, the size of a city bus, bringing sophisticated medical care to remote areas

More than 100 free medical drives in remote, impoverished areas. When necessary, patients go to the hospital for free.

25 bed hospital near a remote hilltop temple provides for the hundreds of thousands who make the pilgrimage every year

Medical dispensary in Mumbai

HIV/AIDS care center, open daily,  providing anti-retroviral drugs and care services

Free cataract surgeries: 726 patients in 2010

Pain and Palliative Home Care: 75,000 impoverished, terminally ill patients treated annually -- all free of charge

Monthly Pensions for 50,000 Widows, the Disabled & Victims of Poverty

Recognizing that due to a loss or injury, people in the developing world can easily be consigned to a lifetime of hardship, these pensions don't expire - they are for life. Ultimately, 100,000 men, women and children will receive monthly pensions.

Care homes for the Elderly

They come for refuge or to spend their final years in a tranquil spiritual ambiance. These four care homes also hold community functions & cultural programs.

Sponsored Weddings for the Poor

In India, marriage is essential for the stability of the entire family. For decades, Amma has sponsored weddings, providing all the items necessary for a traditional service.

Hospital Visits and Meals on Wheels

Volunteers throughout the works visit hospitals, nursing homes and the elderly and in firm in their own homes.


Green Initiatives


In Kerala, India, three medicinal plant gardens conserve coastal, midland and forest ecosystems and provide employment for local women.

In France, Amma’s volunteers built a walk-in bee sanctuary that offers the educational experience of living with bees.

In Europe, Greenfriends is using organic cultivation methods and developing seed banks to preserve local, ancient and/or endangered seeds.

In the USA, Embracing the World has launched a tree sponsorship program with the goal of reforesting 80 acres of land with 40,000 pine trees.

In India, volunteers are using non-recyclable hard plastic packing straps to weave bed bases for metal-framed foldaway beds for disaster survivors.

Amma Fiji’s Green Friends picked up hundreds of plastic bags and bottles, pieces of foam, and even some tires. Around 60 bags of garbage was picked up on two beaches along the Suva Sea Wall.

Green Shores project is planning on planting 300,000 casuarina saplings in total on the Alappad Panchayat peninsula.


Public Health

The Amala Bharatam Campaign has the potential to have a powerful impact on India’s public health goals. Lack of sanitation is the world’s leading cause of infection. It aims to improve public health and restore India’s physical beauty. By cleaning India’s public spaces, promoting health through hygiene, sorting garbage, recycling, and properly disposing of waste, awareness of this campaign has reached millions.

More than 1,000 clean-up drives have been undertaken on the fourth Sunday of each month, which has been designated as Clean Sunday. Through ABC, volunteers are cleaning public areas, constructing public toilets and spreading awareness in schools regarding the proper way to dispose of trash. Handkerchiefs have been distributed to more than one million school children. Teaching them to use them instead of spitting on the ground.


Research for a Better World

Researchers at Amrita University deployed the world’s first wireless sensor network system for landslide detection in Munnar, Kerala. Warning of an impending landslide, it allows for early evacuation and disaster management.

SAVE program has developed educational applications using multimedia, virtual reality and haptic technologies to simulate real-life situations and provide portable, cost-effective, scalable and vocational education.

MoVE (Mobile Vocational Education), utilizes vehicles powered by solar energy to provide vocational education for sustainable development in diverse areas, including India’s remote tribal communities.

Amma’s Center for Nanosciences is conducting research into cancer, infectious diseases and tissue engineering.

In 2011, A-VIEW (Amrita Virtual Interactive E-learning World) won the Jury Award for Best Innovation in Open and Distance Learning at the World Education Summit in New Delhi.

Over 27,000 students in rural schools are using the India’s first computer-aided adaptive assessment and learning program CREATE (Centre for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education).


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