"The beauty and charm of selfless service should never die away from the face of this earth. The world should know that a life of dedication is possible; that a life inspired by love and service is possible." - Amma
When Amma was a little girl, one of her many chores was collecting food for the family cows. Every day she would roam the local villages, gathering grass and visiting neighbouring homes to ask for vegetable peels and other scraps. At times like these, Amma saw many things that troubled her. She saw how some people were starving, while others had more than enough. She saw that many people were sick and were suffering from intense pain, unable to afford a single painkiller. And she noticed that many of the elderly were neglected or treated harshly by their own families.
Amma's empathy was such that the pain of others was unbearable to her. Though just a child, she began to contemplate the nature of suffering. And she felt the presence of God so strongly within her and in the suffering people around her that she wanted to reach out and comfort and uplift them. In many ways, it was then that Amma's charitable mission began. She would share her food with the starving, and she would bathe and clothe the elderly who had no one to look after them. She was often punished for giving away her own family's food and belongings to the poor, but her compassion was such that she would not be deterred.
If one looks closely at the many humanitarian services provided by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), they will see that they are in truth simply an extension of what Amma has been doing since her childhood—taking care of the old, the poor, the neglected, the suffering. There are welfare programs for widows as well as care homes for the elderly; free food, clothing, and homes for the needy; an orphanage; assistance for tribal communities; and post-disaster relief efforts. Not to mention free medical services and hospices. In 2005, MAM was given special consultative status with the United Nation's Economic and Social Organization. Indeed, Amma's humanitarian services are an extension of her love, an extension of her darshan — ever-expanding and giving solace to more and more people every day.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math — N.G.O. with Special Consultative Status to the United Nations
On July 24, 2005, the United Nations conferred “Special Consultative Status” to Mata Amritanandamayi Math, thus enabling collaboration with U.N. agencies in the future. This status was given in recognition of Math’s outstanding disaster relief work and other humanitarian activities.