Thousands accommodated comfortably, pure drinking water a priority at centres

Crowd poured in for Amritavarsham 60, and the Ashram was all set to accommodate the thousands of devotees who came to meet Amma during the three days of birthday celebrations. Though the turnout was thrice more than expected, a dedicated team of 100 brahmacharis and 300 student volunteers worked day and night to find new places for devotees to stay comfortably while satisfying their basic needs including pure drinking water and showering facilities.

All schools, temples and wedding halls in and around 30 kilometres of ashram were converted into temporary shelters. An average of 3000 people are accommodated in a minimum of 15 nearby shelters while more are being transported to shelters a few kilometers away from the ashram. To ply devotees back and forth, a convoy of 120 buses made regular trips from accommodation sites to the programme venue.

Apart from the influx of a large number of devotees, thousands of students and staff from all five campuses of Amrita University also had to be accommodated. For example , from the headquarters of the university in Ettimadai, more than 2000 students and 200 staff members attended the events in connection with Amma’s birthday celebrations for three days. The School of Biotechnology, the boys hostels and the Amrita School of Business building were used for this.

An eight-acre ground close to the Amrita University Amritapuri campus became the venue for 25 temporary accommodation shelters being built for male devotees and volunteers who were serving for more than two days for Amma’s 60th birthday celebrations.

- Aravinthkumar G & Akshay George