Amma's Volunteers to Plant 6 Million Trees
Among a number of initiatives announced by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math to celebrate Amma's 60th birthday, six million saplings will be planted throughout worldwide in a large reforestation drive. The Math will organize the planting of the saplings throughout India and Amma’s other volunteer-run organizations, collectively known as Embracing the World, will facilitate the other plantings around the globe.
In Kerala alone, 600,000 saplings will be planted by next June. Kerala’s Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, formally inaugurated the initiative at his official residence in the state capital, by planting the first sapling.
The saplings planted in Kerala will be provided by the state forest department. The first 175,000 will be provided immediately and approximately 50,000 will be provided every month to meet the goal, Chandy said.
“Environmental protection and conservation is one of the most important services we can do for the society,” Chandy said. “It is laudable that the Math has undertaken such a project on the occasion of Amma’s 60th birthday.”
Swami Jnanamritananda Puri of the Amritapuri Ashram commented: “The new programs we have launched are an extension of the compassion, kindness and love Amma has for the people."
The reforestation program is only one of the volunteer-run green activities conducted by the Math. These include the Amala Bharatam Campaign (ABC), a program aimed at improving public health and at restoring India’s beauty. Through ABC, more than 1,000 cleaning drives have been undertaken throughout India since 2010. At the request of the Kerala Government, it helped remove hundreds of tons of trash from the famous pilgrimage site of Sabarimala Temple and the adjoining Pampa River in south-central Kerala.
This reforestation program and MAM’s cleaning drives are part of Amma’s teaching that “The Creator and the creation are not two”, and that service to the environment is service to the Divine.