KOLLAM: The Mata Amritanandamayi Math has said it is donating Rs 13 crore to combat COVID-19 and help those affected by the lockdown. The Math will also provide free care to COVID-19 patients at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital) in Kochi.
While Rs 10 crore will go to the central government’s PM CARES Fund, Rs 3 crore will go to the Kerala government’s Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, the Math said in a release here.
“Seeing the entire world hurting and crying in pain, my heart is aching deeply,” Amma said in the statement. “Let us all pray for the souls who have succumbed to this pandemic, for the mental peace of their families and friends, for the peace of the world, and for God’s grace.”
At Amma’s request, Amrita University and Amrita Hospital have set up a mental-health hotline (0476 280 5050), where people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed due to the pandemic and its ramifications can call to get free support.
Last week, Amma had publicly requested doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists to set aside time to provide counselling. “Counselling is a service needed at this time,” Amma said. “Please consider this as an appeal from Amma to doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. Whether you are believers or not, set aside one or two hours every day to provide free counselling for those who need it,” she said.
“The selfish things man has done to Nature are now coming back in the form of such epidemics,” Amma said. “We need to develop the attitude that we are nothing but Nature’s servants. We should practice humility, servitude and respect. At least now let us stop throwing our arrogance in Nature’s face. The time has come to bow down before the forces of Nature. The time has come to beg Nature to forgive all our trespasses. The time has come to abandon the lackadaisical attitude that Nature will just forbear, suffer and forgive all the indignities we keep heaping on her. Nature is commanding us to wake up and look around. To awaken humankind, Nature is sounding a loud alarm in the form of Covid-19,” she added.
Through its deemed university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University), the Math also has an interdisciplinary team researching ways to produce low-cost scalable medical masks, gowns and face-protection visors, as well as ventilators, rapid-setup isolation wards, units for sterilizing medical waste, and IoT means for the remote monitoring of quarantined patients. The team includes more than 60 faculty members from the fields of medicine, nanoscience, AI, big data, sensor-manufacturing and material sciences.
The Math is also in regular communication with the leaders of its 101 adopted Amrita SeRVe villages, promoting coronavirus awareness, ensuring the villagers are aware of all the latest government-assistance programs available to them, as well as ensuring that fake news and erroneous information regarding the pandemic does not spread within their communities.
Some Amrita SeRVe villagers have been trained by the Math to tailor medical masks and are fulfilling government contracts for this.
Under Amma’s direction, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math has provided more than Rs 500 crore in disaster relief since 2005. This has included the provision of financial support, household items, free healthcare and the construction of new homes.