In the wake of the tragic fire and fireworks explosion at the Paravur Puttingal Devi Temple in Kollam, Kerala, tragically resulting in a loss of more than 100 lives, Amma responded with a charitable-aid package for the injured and families of the deceased.
Embracing the World’s India-based humanitarian and spiritual organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), will provide Rs. 100,000 (USD $1,200) to the families of the deceased, as well as Rs. 50,000 (USD $600) for the injured, and free treatment at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital) in Kochi. MAM will also construct free houses for families of the deceased and the severely injured who lack housing.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic firecracker explosion that took the lives of so many men, women and innocent children and severely injured so many others,” said Amma. “My heart reaches out to all of them, to their families and their near and dear ones. I have no words to console them, but can only shed tears along with them. With palms joined and with a heart filled with sorrow, I pray for the departed souls and for the peace of their loved ones. May the family members of the victims have the mental strength and understanding to bear this pain and move forward in life.”
Amma also questions the future use of firecrackers at temple events. “Every year we hear of at least one such tragedy. The government and temple authorities should seriously consider either completely banning the use of firecrackers at temples or to at least minimizing their usage with strict regulation and oversight by the proper authorities,” she says.
At Amma’s request, Amrita Hospital also immediately sent three fully equipped ambulances, several doctors and paramedics to the temple to provide free medical aid.
The temple is located just 45 kilometres from the headquarters of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math.