Amma’s Humanitarian Work
Upon emerging from the inward phase of her life in the forest, Amma began an external mission of providing relief to the suffering and underprivileged. One of Her Holiness’s earliest wishes was to help the hundreds of thousands of villagers living in the regions surrounding the Penusila Forest—families oppressed by abject poverty, lacking proper medical care, and without the basic needs of life.
Free Tribal Schools
In this environment of pervasive poverty, it is not uncommon to see children as young as four or five laboring under the unrelenting Indian sun, harvesting rice, hauling building materials or performing other menial duties. As a means of putting a permanent end to the vicious cycle of child labor that has plagued family after family for generations, Amma inaugurated numerous Free Schools in 1994. Today over 650 students are spending their days inside of a classroom rather than toiling away in hot fields or rice paddies. Amma’s students receive uniforms, text books, school supplies, learning materials and a quality education—including math, science, social studies, the arts, learning to read and write English, Hindi (India’s national language), Telugu (their native tongue)—all free of cost.
Moreover, Amma’s free schools produce top-ranking students in a state that boasts a population of over 84 million people, a fact that can be attributed to the students’ focus on yoga and meditation within their curriculum. At the conclusion of their schooling, students have the option of continuing their education at Amma’s degree college, located in the Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh.
Free Housing Project
In the areas surrounding the Penusila Forest, temperatures reach as high as 115 oF and during monsoon season, heavy winds and rains pummel the countryside. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people residing in this region are living in weak, dilapidated constructions. Almost all of these villagers live in a ‘house’ made of sticks, palm leaves, and tarps—temporary dwellings, not suited to withstand the region’s severe weather. Many of these families began approaching Amma for help, and in 2008, to commemorate her 50th Birthday, Amma initiated the Jubilee Free Housing Project—a commitment to provide safe, lasting homes for families without a permanent roof over their head.
To date, Sri Vijayeswari Devi has handed over durable homes, fashioned from strong building materials (brick, plaster, and steal) to hundreds of families in need, all completely free of cost. Amma plans to continue providing homes for those in need, both inside and outside of India.
Water Treatment Facilities
Our most basic and vital need, clean drinkable water, is not always available to communities around the world. Such is the case for countless families in the rural regions that surround the Penusila Forest, where the water supply is found to contain excessive amounts of fluoride. Water contaminated with fluoride at levels testing as high as 25 times the amounts deemed safe for human consumption, have crippled the general population with fluorosis. Dental and skeletal fluorosis has led to permanent discoloration/destruction of the teeth, kidney damage, bone deformities, organ failure, neurological damage and even death. The condition has had an impact on the education of children, causing stiffing of the joints to the degree where holding a pen or pencil is painful or impossible.
In 2010, Her Holiness Sri Vijayeswari Devi made the firm resolve to provide clean, potable water to remedy this heart-wrenching situation. To date she has opened 16 Reverse-osmosis Water treatment plants that currently supply clean drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in need. In the month of August 2013, two additional water treatment facilities opened providing clean, safe drinking water to several villages in Anantapur, AP. Amma hopes to extend these projects to other areas wherever there is need—Her Holiness’s vision is to include areas outside of Andhra Pradesh and India.
In a region where one out of ten children would not not see their fifth birthday, where mothers commonly die during child birth due to a lack of proper sanitation, and where simple injuries might lead to the loss of an arm or leg, Amma has opened a 100-bed free hospital to provide quality health care for a community of over 5,000,000 impoverished villagers. The hospital features a wide range of specialties (dentistry, gynecology, pediatrics, physical therapy, etc…) and provides medicines as well as medical provisions all free of charge. Amma has also vowed to help restore sight to those whose vision has been impaired by cataracts, and as such cataract removal has been a major thrust of the hospital—to date, thousands have been helped in this area alone. A mobile medical van also travels to rural areas to provide care to patients too sick to walk or travel.
In 2009 the Kurnool District in Andhra Pradesh suffered devastating floods—Amma responded by providing immediate relief in the form of medical attention, food rations, clothing, and cooking supplies. Numerous free medical camps are also conducted remotely ranging from cancer screening/detection, vision testing, dental examination, wheel chair distribution and more.
Amma is also caring and providing for a community of leprosy patients ostracized from society but still requiring medical attention, basic necessities, and a Mother’s loving care.
Her Holiness Sri Vijayeswari Devi’s mission of Love and Service knows no bounds, and as such numerous charitable activities also take place across the globe.
World-wide Free Medical Care
In some Western countries, like the United States, medical care is often so expensive that it has become unavailable to the general public—a fact that has resulted in more deaths due to life-threatening diseases like cancer, where rising medical costs have made early detection and intervention far less likely.
In 2012 Her Holiness Sri Vijayeswari Devi began conducting free medical camps in the United States with doctors from a wide range of specialties including Orthopedics, Dentistry, Cardiology, Neurology and Optometry—just to name few. Moreover, this year through Her Divine Grace, Cancer Education and Early-Detection (CEED) programs have been included in Amma’s Free Medical Camps. By providing this service to people, anyone who sees a physician at one of the Free Medical Camps and is diagnosed with cancer, qualifies to receive completely free medical care throughout the duration of their battle with cancer—a wonderful service that promises to save countless lives and provides hope to the masses.
Narayana Seva (Annadanam)
Free food distribution of Narayana Seva is a special seva very dear to Sri Vijayeswari Devi. Amma Herself has been known to prepare meals and personally serve hot meals to tens of thousands of people each year. Her example has inspired countless volunteers across the world to take up this seva in their hometowns, delivering food and kind words that nourish hungry bodies and souls. Today Narayana Seva is conducted regularly in several cities throughout India, the United States, and Canada.
World-wide Rural Area Development and Education
To lesson the technological divide that has been a rift separating many developing communities from the modern world, Her Holiness aims to provide education and resources to the underprivileged. Recently 100 laptop computers were delivered to Ghana, West Africa in Sri Vijayeswari Devi’s name through the generosity of Congressman Danny Davis. Her Holiness looks to increase such programs in an effort to empower the rural people of our global community.