Modi was the chief guest during the morning session

The three-day celebrations to mark the 60th birthday of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi which began at Amritapuri near here on Wednesday saw the launch of a slew of social service-oriented programmes and a number of new scientific advancements and prototypes made by Amrita University on Thursday.

A number of dignitaries participated, including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The celebrations will conclude on Friday with customary spiritual programmes.

While Mr. Modi launched the social service programmes and the scientific prototypes, Mr. Chandy launched charity programmes announced in connection with the celebrations. The function also witnessed the inauguration of Amrita University’s Centre for Spiritual Studies jointly by Swami Prakashananda, president of Sivagiri Math.

Bahuguna to attend

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna will be the chief guest on Friday. The final day celebrations will see at least six Governors at the venue and Union and State Ministers too.

On Wednesday an international seminar on “Our Villages, Our World, What Can We Offer” was inaugurated by the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Prominent among the speakers were eminent scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan and Nobel laureate Dr. Leland H. Hartwell.

Village adoption announced

As part of the birthday celebrations, Mata Amritanandamayi has announced the adoption of 101 villages with the aim of making them self-reliant and role models for the country.

“People, especially the women in our villages, are suffering due to domestic violence, caused by alcohol abuse. The men return home drunk and beat up their wives. We aim to find solutions to all such problems,” the Mata has said.

Relief package

A Rs. 50-crore relief-and-rehabilitation project for the flood-ravaged State of Uttarakhand was also announced.

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