Amma Sri Karunamayi, who is revered by tens of thousands of followers as the embodiment of “Divine Motherly Love”, is currently on tour in North America, her 23rd visit to the United States.
Amma’s tour started on March 17, in Arizona, and will end on July 10, in San Francisco, California.
Each year she travels around this country giving free public programs and according to her organization, millions of Americans have come to Amma Sri Karunamayi to share their pain.
She is also the founder of SMVA Trust, a global non-profit in association with the United Nations’ DPI, established in 1988, dedicated to humanitarian service projects, and to upholding Sanathana Dharma (Vedic Culture) by interweaving tradition and charitable service.
Amma is also the founder and spiritual head of Manidweepa Maha Samsthanam, an ashram which includes the Sri Lalita Parameshwari Devi Tri-Shakti Peetham.
Born in 1958, Sri Karunamayi left the comfort and security of her parents’ home in 1980, and lived in relative isolation for ten years in the Penusila Forest of the Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh.
She then began her mission of providing relief to the suffering and underprivileged, particularly the hundreds of thousands of villagers living in the regions surrounding the Penusila Forest.
She inaugurated the Sri Karunamayi Free Schools in 1994, where today, more than 650 students are enrolled for a rounded education that includes math, science, social studies, the arts, learning to read and write English, Hindi, Telugu (their native tongue)—all free of cost.
In 2010, she resolved to provide clean, potable water and to date, under Amma’s direction, SMVA Trust has opened 31 Water Treatment Plants across two states in India.
In 2008, to commemorate her 50th Birthday, Amma initiated the Jubilee Free Housing Project— which to date, has handed over durable homes to hundreds of families in need.
She has opened a 100-bed free hospital to provide quality health care for a community of over 5,00,000 impoverished villagers, free of charge. A mobile medical van also travels to rural areas to provide care to patients too sick to walk or travel.
Amma is also active in numerous charitable activities across the globe.
In 2012, she began conducting free medical camps in the United States with doctors from a wide range of specialties including Orthopedics, Dentistry, Cardiology, Neurology and Optometry—just to name few. Moreover, this year Cancer Education and Early-Detection (CEED) programs have been included in Amma’s Free Medical Camps. By providing this service to people, anyone who sees a physician at one of Amma Sri Karunamayi’s Free Medical Camps and is diagnosed with cancer, qualifies to receive completely free medical care throughout the duration of their battle with cancer.
Her organization, Narayana Seva (Annadanam), distributes free food and her example has been followed by other volunteers across the world, including in the U.K, the U.S., South America, and Canada.
She has also led many peace initiatives such as peace marches and peace prayers. In 2011 Amma held a World Peace Prayer with participants from over 60 countries at ‘Ground Zero’, the site of the 9/11 tragedy in New York, USA.
That same year Amma also addressed members of the United Nations at the UN Plaza, N.Y., on world peace. Amma has visited the United Nations on numerous occasions to speak on women’s rights and the importance of cultivating peace in our daily lives.
She has been recognized for her charitable work by the state of Illinois, and received several awards. She is in the U.S. Congressional Record recognized by Congressman Bill Foster, for her life of service and “…Her charitable works in India … ‘ The New Jersey State Assembly passed a resolution presented by then Deputy Speaker Upendra Chivukula for her “…selfless and unwavering dedication to humanitarian endeavors…”
In Toronto, Canada, she was recognized for 10 years of service by former Member of the Provincial Parliament Tony Ruprecht, through a motion introduced by then M.P.P. Bas Balkissoon.
In a phone interview to News India Times, Amma’s personal assistant, Gokul Pulipati, said that Amma’s visit to New York last week was very successful, with more than around 2,000 people congregating at the Ananda Ashram, in Monroe.
“Amma is a humanitarian, and she wants to give her individual blessings to help as many people as she can,” he said.
Amma also helps the United Nations in empowerment of women, he added.
This year, Amma performed a ‘mahayagnam’, in Atlanta, Georgia, May 5-14, a highlight of her tour.
“It was a ‘Shivashakti mahayagnam’, done for world peace, and for women empowerment,” said Pulipati.