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AmritaSREE Self Help Groups’ annual meeting at Kottayam, Kerala

Woman receives free sari
The gathering concluded with the distribution of working capital and benefits to Amrita SREE members

Key Points

  • Amrita SREE is a community-based self-help program initiated by Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Its primary goal is to empower women by providing them with alternate livelihood opportunities. Over 15 years, Amrita SREE has significantly transformed lives and communities, emphasizing the importance of women’s happiness for societal peace.
  • A district meeting was organized by Amrita SREE in Kottayam. Several notable guests, including political leaders, praised Amrita SREE as an ideal model of microfinance.
  • The gathering concluded with the distribution of working capital and benefits to Amrita SREE members, providing each 20-member group with ₹ 30,000 (US $360) as working capital. The program’s success and recognition as a microfinance model were emphasized, with a call to popularize it globally.

28th March 2019

Amrita SREE community-based self-help programmes came into existence as an endeavor to provide alternate livelihood to the fishing community which had lost everything in the devastating Asian Tsunami of 2004. Initiated by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math on the directive of Amma, Amrita SREE puts into practice her vision of ‘empowering lives through empowering women’.  During the 15 years of its existence, Amrita SREE has come a long way in transforming countless lives and communities across the nation and became a force to reckon with in the realm of women empowerment.

Woman receives free clothing

These facts were put into perspective by Swami Jnanamritananda Puri, while delivering the benedictory address at the AmritaSREE district conclave organized at the Nagampadam ground here. Elaborating further about the inception of the programme, Swami talked about the broader vision of Amma which considered the happiness of women to be a prerequisite for achieving peace in the society.

Amrita SREE Chief Coordinator R Ranganathan has welcomed the gathering and the guests of honour included Sri. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan MLA, Sri. PC George MLA, CPI leader Sri. Kanam Rajendran CPI, BJP Leader B Radhakrishna Menon, Thiruvalla Ashram Chief Bhavyamrita Chaitanya, Changanasserry Ashram Chief Nisthamrita Chaitanya and Suryan Jayasuryan Bhattathiripad of Surya Kaladimana.

Dignitaries and swami listen to talks

The conclave has also discussed about the development and disaster management activities undertook by the Math over the years including the behemoth rehabilitation effort carried out at the time of the Tsunami. Even the Government had found it difficult to carry out the relief activities effectively without the help of the Math during the Tsunami disaster, many of the public servants have pointed out. They have expressed the opinion that without the relentless relief activities undertaken by the Math at times of natural calamities, the state of affairs in Kerala would have been in a pathetic state. The speakers including former ministers have praised the Amrita SREE initiative as an ideal model of microfinance worthy of adapting all over the world and stressed the need for popularizing the programme across the borders.

The conclave concluded with a vote of thanks by the cluster coordinator Sandhya Vinod which was followed by the distribution of the working capital and other benefits to the Amrita SREE members by the guests of honour. An amount of ₹30,000 (US $360) was given as the working capital for every 20-member Amrita SREE group.

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