: On the occasion of her 62nd birthday celebrations on Sunday, Mata Amritanandamayi made a commitment of Rs.100 crore for construction of toilets in the State. A plaque commemorating the pledge was presented by the Mata to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the celebrations venue at Mata Amritanandamayi Math.
Mr. Chandy gave an assurance that the entire amount would be utilised for the purpose.
On the occasion, Governor P. Sathasivam presented the Amritakeerti Puraskar to Sanskrit scholar Muthukulam Sreedharan for his contributions towards promoting Sanskrit literature.
The Mata announced a slew of welfare schemes for the poor. These include Rs.1 lakh each to women from the fishing community who had lost their husbands at sea while engaged in fishing, 200 heart surgeries, 150 brain surgeries, and 25 kidney transplants free of cost to 375 patients from poor families, 130 houses to the homeless and support for getting several women married. Other dignitaries who addressed the celebrations included Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha P.J. Kurien; Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla; president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Amit Shah; Union Minister of State for AYUSH Sripad Yasoo Naik; Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha; the former president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Ashok Singhal; general secretary of the SNDP Yogam Vellappally Natesan and the Ambassador of France to India Francois Richier.