THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Mata Amritanandamayi Math has donated `2 crore to Kerala State’s cyclone Ockhi special relief fund. A cheque for the amount was handed over by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, the Vice-Chairman of the Math, to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his office in the capital, a release said here.Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri said Amma feels the pain of the families in mourning. “She can’t stop thinking of the grief of the wives who never got the closure of seeing their husbands’ bodies. She deeply wanted to help provide them assistance,” he said.
Soon after the disaster, volunteers of the Math set up food relief camps for the widows and hundreds of affected families, at times working in collaboration with local churches. Free treatment for the injured was also offered at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi. Under the leadership of Mata Amritanandamayi, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and its worldwide counterpart ‘Embracing the World’, has contributed more than `475 crore in disaster relief since 2005, coming to the aid of victims of such tragedies as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Chennai floods of 2015, Uttarakhand flash-flooding of 2013, Japan earthquake/tsunami of 2011, and the US hurricanes of 2005.
Cyclone Ockhi, the most intense tropical Arabian Sea cyclone in years, hit the Kerala coast in early December. Heavy rain and strong winds claimed many lives and inflicted widespread destruction. Many homes were destroyed.Local fishermen off the coast of Kerala’s capital were the worst hit. The bodies of some were found strewn across their boats and hundreds are still missing. The exact death toll remains unknown. Many of the victims’ families were displaced, having lost their loved ones as well as their security, food and shelter.