Love & Serve: The Devotee Volunteers
Some 150,000 people are visiting here each day and the entire programme going on smoothly. This speaks volumes for the efforts that must have gone in to training the volunteers. You see volunteers everywhere guiding you politely to where you want to go. They are controlling the crowd without any barricades — only with the help of small ropes.
How is this possible?
Even the most qualified management expert would doubt its feasibility. The Math has clearly planned the logistics meticulously.
The Math issued forms and asked for applications and photographs from the people offering their services. They then arranged a training camp of 250 leaders. These trained leaders then went to their respective districts and provinces to train a team of volunteers. One of the five main people, Col. K.K. Nair, went to Delhi, Karnataka and Coimbatore and conducted training. Another, A Sushil Kumar, went to Mumbai and conducted a camp for volunteers there and from Pune.
Volunteers were then divided into teams of 10 with one leader among them. In charge of 10 such groups (100 people) is another leader. Above that leader is a Venue Head who controls five such teams (500 persons). These units of 500 are then grouped into 12 areas, each controlled by senior brahmacharis and head of the Math’s youth wing, AYUDH*.
These volunteers constitute Amma’s devotees, AYUDH members, and students from Amma’s educational institutions.
According to one brahmachari, 5,000 people expressed their desire to work as volunteers, but were turned down because they had not be trained.
More than 30 departments were set up at the stadium, including crowd control, canteen, transport, accommodation, etc. Two batches of these volunteers are made, and they work in three shifts. Thus there is a sufficient force of volunteers at any given time. Forty volunteers are separately arranged to organise the shift change.
All this only could be working because of Amma’s grace and the love of the devotees for Amma and their desire to serve Her and humankind. Mind boggling and heart-warming statistics.