Amma: Sri Mata Amritanandamayi -  Ireland
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In Amma's childhood, she spent her free moments looking after the sick and elderly of her village, who often had no one else to care for them. Later, when she began giving darshan several nights a week, a leper named Dattan, who was covered in wounds and had been shunned by society, sought Amma as his last hope. At the end of every darshan, she cared for him like her own son, even licking his open wounds. Through her sankalpa, Dattan's wounds healed.

Now, many thousands come to Amma as their last hope, and she answers their prayers. Every branch ashram across India has a free medical dispensary. Her Amritapuri ashram houses a charitable hospital which treats thousands every week. There is a cancer hospice near Mumbai and an AIDS care centre in Trivandrum. Community outreach programmes range from house calls for the terminally ill to neurological care camps and free treatment for epilepsy and diabetes. When the devastating earthquake struck Gujarat in January 2001, Amma's doctors were the first to arrive on the scene and the last to leave. Over and above all these shines AIMS, Amma's 1300-bed superspeciality hospital in Kochi, Kerala which is dedicated to providing quality care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. After their stay at AIMS, many patients and visitors say they do not feel they have been in a hospital, but in a temple of love and compassion.

We can still see Amma caring for those who suffer with her own hands, as She strokes the paralyzed legs of a devotee, or kisses the swollen brow of a baby with a birth defect. Inspired by Amma's example, thousands have dedicated themselves to serving the poor, the sick and the distressed; in this way, her hands have become many.

Amma with baby

Hospital ward at AIMS

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