On July 13, 2019, during Amma’s Chicago programs, US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi honored Amma with a congressional commendation recognizing her humanitarian initiatives and conservation efforts across the globe.
Congressman Krishnamoorthi represents Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs, which comprise the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. He is known for his dedication to serving his constituents, growing and strengthening the middle class by supporting small businesses, making college more affordable, and rebuilding the area’s infrastructure.
After taking the stage, Congressman Krishnamoorthi garlanded Amma, received her blessing, and read the congressional commendation aloud prior to presenting it to Amma. Congressman Krishnamoorthi said that the congressional commendation was entered into the United States congressional record to ensure that people today and throughout history know who Amma is and what she has done. The commendation will remain a permanent part of the official congressional record.
Sharing the text of the congressional commendation, Congressman Krishnamoorthi read, “Madam Speaker, today I rise to recognize Her Holiness Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known simply as ‘Amma’ to her many admirers over the world, for her exemplary humanitarian and conservation efforts and her work to build bridges of love, peace and understanding not only to the people of India, but to all nations.
“Amma was born in 1953 in a small, coastal village in the South Indian state of Kerala. Drawn from a very early age to a life of service to others, Amma began her lifelong practice of trying to alleviate suffering by sharing food and clothing from her home while still a young girl. This devotion to service was not always appreciated by her family, who faced their own economic challenges and could ill afford to give away any of the little they had, but Amma persisted and soon began her practice of embracing those in need of comfort and support.
“Her humanitarian efforts have been recognized and celebrated by, among others, the United Nations, the Parliament of World Religions, and Rotary Club International, and she has been awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the State University of New York in Buffalo.
“Amma continues to share her vision of peace, understanding and love through speaking programs, meditation retreats and her willingness to embrace all in need of blessing,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi continued. “Madam Speaker, I want to recognize Amma’s selfless and compassionate devotion to all people, the work of her charities to relieve poverty and provide health care and education, her outspoken advocacy against human trafficking, and her efforts to encourage sustainable practices and protect our shared ecosystem.”
After reading the congressional commendation, Congressman Krishnamoorthi said in closing, “We need more of her blessings now more than ever.” His words drew enthusiastic applause from the thousands assembled for Amma’s evening program, which included a special ceremony for world peace.
Amma was in the Chicago area for three days as part of her 11-city 2019 North American Tour – her 33rd annual tour of the United States and Canada.