Amrita Serve - Making Villages Self-reliant
Until the 18th century, India was one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Indian villagers lived their lives in harmony with nature and based on traditional values. They were skilled makers of silk and other fine cloth, medicinal drugs and pottery, and were prosperous owners of sandalwood, gold, silver, emeralds and diamonds. One can see a glimpse of India’s affluence from the Arabian ambassador Razzak’s description of the glory of the Vijaynagar Empire: “… such as the eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard of, any place to equal it on earth.”
Today, however, Indian villages tell a different tale. Travelling across the length and breadth of India during her annual tours, and stopping in remote areas en route from one city to another, Amma has personally seen and heard the problems of thousands of poor villagers all over the country. Amma’s 60th birthday was celebrated with the launch of a new humanitarian project, Amrita SeRVe, wherein the Embracing the World is working in 101 villages throughout India with a view to helping them become self-reliant.
In fact, all of Embracing the World's humanitarian activities — whether building homes for the homeless or distributing pensions to destitute widows — have been the direct outcome of stories of suffering Amma has heard from those who have come to her. This new project is yet another expression of Amma’s boundless love and compassion for suffering humanity. It draws upon the experience of various humanitarian activities that MAM has been engaged in throughout the world for the past three decades.
Amrita SeRVe has many projects under its wing to achieve the goal of Self-reliant Villages.
Some of the latest activities of Amrita Serve are:
Planting trees: January, 2016
The 10-day retreat for the Amrita SeRVe participants began today with an early morning session at Amma's Indian Headquarter M.A.Center ,Amritapuri,Tulsi Farm.
Participants learned how to raise tree saplings in villages. They planted drumstick seeds and before they leave, the seeds would have probably sprouted.
Participants also received rudraksha seeds that will be planted in each of their villages
Training village folk in vocational skills: January 2016
Participants from villages that are part of the self-reliant village project of Embracing the world, like Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh attended the inauguration of a carpentry course at Amma's Indian Headquarter M.A.Center at Amritapuri, and will learn many useful skills in the days to come.
Subsequently, women from our villages in Jharkhand and Uttarakhand began the 2-week tailoring course in which they will learn, among other things, how to upcycle and make useful products from waste.
These men and women have traveled long distances from their respective states to Amma's ashram in Kerala for receiving this training. Many will meet Amma for the first time, when she returns to the Amritapuri ashram later this week after the completion of her South Indian tour.
Farmer-friendly: January 2016
Keep your friends close. Keep your farmers closer.
Every meal on our plates contains ingredients grown on a farm. We all need farms to survive. Aside from energy from the sun, what else do we need in order to have food for ourselves and our families?
We need land to grow the food ... healthy soils to nourish the crops and livestock ... clean water for irrigation ... and farmers to make it all happen. So if you ate today, then thank a farmer who helped bring the food to your plate.
Amrita SeRVe is putting forth effort to help and support our farmer friends. We believe that if the farmer is poor, then so is the whole country. Do your bit to support us. For seva opportunities, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ending Open Defecation in Rural India: January 2016
Women Receive Support from American High School Students
Eight American students from Westminster High School in Atlanta, Georgia, travelled to rural India in order to help construct toilets supporting village women as part of our self-reliant village initiative.
Geared with training in basic masonry and other aspects of toilet construction from the university, the 17- and 18-year-old students travelled by train to Byse, Karnataka, for the construction-phase of the project. They assist women of the village to construct their own toilets as well as immersing in a cultural exchange. Villagers lead the efforts after undergoing basic training and receive support from the students; this unique and innovative approach is part of our 200-crore rupees ($30 million USD) sanitation campaign aimed at ending open-defecation throughout India. Read More