The 64th birthday celebrations of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Chancellor Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma, on 8th October, 2017, witnessed the project launch of Jivamaritam. The Honourable President of India, Shri. Ram Nath Kovind, who was the chief guest of the event, inaugurated the Jivamritam Filtration System and distributed certificates of Open Defecation Free (ODF), by Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, to 12 Amrita SeRVe villages. Certificates for totally free surgeries at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences were also presented by the President.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's project, 'Jivamaritam' Filtration Systems for clean drinking water, was inaugurated by the President in the presence of Sri. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham; Justice P. Sathasivam, Honourable Governor of Kerala; Sri. Kadakampally Surendran, Honourable Minister for Devaswom, Tourism & Cooperation; Sri. K. C. Venugopal, MP and All India Congress Committee Secretary; and Sri. R. Ramachandran, MLA. The 100 crore project, designed and developed by the faculty members and students of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, aims to provide clean drinking water in 5,000 villages throughout the nation. Each Jivamritam System is capable of filtering the daily drinking-water needs of up to 400 five-member families.
“The Jivamritam System avails of a dual sand-and-activated-carbon filter to remove suspended particles and turbidity, followed by micron filters of five-micron and one-micron filtration. Each system also includes an ultraviolet water-purifier to remove pathogenic contamination, and two storage tanks — 2,000-litre-inlet and a 1,000-litre outlet — to keep treated and untreated water separate. The filtered-water tanks are integrated with taps to provide drinking water at the location of the system itself,” said Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh, Dean, Amrita Center for International Programs, and the Jivamritam project head from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
In the 12 Amrita SeRVe villages, all households have access to a toilet and no human waste or sewage pollutes the village surroundings. Besides training women to build and maintain their own toilets, Amrita SeRVe has also been training women to be Community Organizers in sanitation and hygiene awareness. The women then conduct sanitation and health-awareness classes.
Rao R. Bhavani, Director, AMMACHI Labs, said, “Often these women become leaders who transform their village into a healthier, more resilient community able to meet the increasing challenges facing rural India. These villages are an inspiration to the other villages we work in. We expect many more of the Math’s adopted villages to become ODF-verified by the end of the year. In fact, this effort is just the beginning. The women in most of these villages now have set a new goal — attaining ‘Nirmal Gaon’ status, which comes only when all the villages in their district become ODF.”
The five individuals, who received the certificates for totally free surgeries at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, were representative of 1,940 economically challenged people receiving such certificates — including 200 recipients of heart surgeries, 70 of neurosurgeries, 20 of kidney transplants, 50 of head-and-neck surgeries, 50 of major gastrointestinal surgeries, 50 of urological and nephrological surgeries, 500 of dialysis treatments and 1,000 of cancer treatments."Since the inception of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi and the allied medical institutions of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math have provided totally free medical care to more than 43.3 lakh [4.33 millions] patients,” said Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.