January 2016

More than two years have passed since the Amrita SeRVe (Self Reliant Village) project was launched during Amma’s 60th birthday celebrations in September 2013, ushering in sustainable development in village clusters all over the country.

Some of our village clusters are in remote areas (Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Bihar); others are not far from big cities (Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha). Each place has unique challenges. However, some problems, such as the lack of quality health and education services, are ubiquitous.

India has the world’s largest rural population. India’s Human Development Index is low primarily because rural areas lack access to good health care and education. We have started work to ensure that these conditions change for those living in our villages. Dedicated tuition teachers and health workers are at the forefront of this effort.

Take Krupamma. The only person to have completed college in her village, Krupamma is now the Amrita SeRVe tuition teacher in our village in Andhra. She is trying to ensure that other children follow in her footsteps and aspire for higher education. Like Krupamma, our tuition teachers have grown up in the Amrita SeRVe villages, and are grateful to be part of Amma’s team working for change.

Take Krupamma. The only person to have completed college in her village, Krupamma is now the Amrita SeRVe tuition teacher in our village in Andhra.

The Government of India estimates that our rural population cumulatively spends up to 6,700 crore rupees annually for the treatment of water and sanitation-related diseases. This amount is nearly equal to the annual budget of the Union Health Ministry. Accordingly, Amma’s teams focused on building toilets as well as water distribution networks so that women did not have to fetch water from far.

Research centers of Amrita University worked hard to ensure that Amrita SeRVe met its goals for health and education. WNA Center helped implement water distribution networks while Ammachi Labs built toilets. Create is providing curriculum and training support for the tuition centers that have been started all over the country.

Amma says that one child from every family must first work in a rural area for one year after graduation. This will help awaken compassion in the youth and our country will grow holistically. Accordingly, with Amma’s blessings, the Amrita SeRVe Fellowship Program was launched in May 2015. The program has attracted many dedicated young men and women, who are now living in our villages and serving.

Amma has inspired many retired men and women to actively volunteer with Amrita SeRVe. Several are now Mentors to the Fellows. Others are concentrating on beginning income generation programs or combating the practices of chewing gutka and consuming alcohol. There is a lot more that needs to be done. We have only just begun.

In the coming months, work will expand from 21 villages to many more. As per Amma’s instructions, priority was given to one village in each cluster in 21 states during the past two years. Now this village will serve as the base for expanding the reach to the neighboring 4-5 villages in each cluster. Many more will come to know about Amma. Many more lives will be touched by Her Grace….

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