Mata Amritanandamayi announces one million dollar donation to Katrina victims

pstrongKerala, India, September 23, 2005:/strong Indian spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Friday announced US$1 million in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina that battered the US in August. "Our Amritanandamayi Center in the US will hand over this amount to the US government," Mata told reporters at a press conference in her Vallikavu ashram near here. She also said so far her ashram has completed 1,200 of the 6,200 tsunami-relief houses it has undertaken to construct throughout India and Sri Lanka. "Even though the ashram has pledged US$23 million in tsunami relief aid, the effective value of the amount is closer to $46 million because so much of the work is being done by our volunteers," said Amma, as she is popularly known. She said her ashram was helping construct new houses in tsunami-affected areas in Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and also in Sri Lanka. India lost 10,000 people to the December 26 disaster. "We are not just building houses, but roads, wells, schools, community halls and health care centers," added Amma./p pAmma now plans to rehabilitate young girls aged between 13 and 18 who have ended up in brothels in Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad. "The present rules in the country when it comes to rehabilitation of these young girls in this age group are not favorable. So our team of lawyers is working on it and we are moving slowly but steadily in this regard. "Once a clear-cut picture emerges in this, we would start rehabilitation centers for such victims, and we would also provide employment to these girls," said Amma. For Kerala, Amma announced she would run a program to tackle the increasing number of suicides in the state./p p(Source: a href="http://news.webindia123.com/" target="_blank"news.webindia123.com/a )/p