One year had passed since the devastating earthquake, but another tragedy had fell upon Gujarat in the form of communal riots in 2002. It was a real hard time for the state and Amma was scheduled to travel from Mumbai to Bhuj in western Gujarat, to inaugurate the three villages that the M.A. M had reconstructed. In order to reach those villages –Modsar, Mokhana and Dagara, Amma had to travel through riot-prone areas and the authorities including the CBI warned her against making the trip. But Amma’s conviction was unwavering. She had declared to her entourage: ‘’ I have decided to go, come what may, and those who fear for their lives don’t have to come.”
As she had declared, Amma made the trip through sensitive areas and reached the village where she presided over the ceremony. When Amma did arrive, thousands came to have her Darshan: the men in their traditional heavy turbans and the women in their flowing rainbow-colored dresses. As per the villagers’ belief, the region was visited by Lord Krishna in ancient times and they had come to meet Amma in colorful attire, as if she was their Lord. They had even arranged a horse-driven chariot to carry Amma to the Darshan stage. They also badly wanted Amma to bless their homes before they moved in. At the event, the villagers declared that they had named their villages after Amma, out of gratitude.
The deputy prime minister of India L. K. Advani distributed the keys of the newly-built houses to the beneficiaries in the presence of thousands of people who came to greet Amma, in an event marked by jubilant enthusiasm. At the event, Amma commented that the villagers were very eager to meet her at the ceremony as they didn’t have money to go and visit Amma anywhere else. Even after normalcy had returned to the villages, the villagers had kept Amma in high reverence in their hearts and it is well evident from the fact that the village elders took a three-day journey to Kerala after four years to help Amma rebuild houses for tsunami victims.
Dy. Prime Minister L. K. Advani applauds Amma
Along with Amma, union Home Minister of India Sri. L.K. Advani, the Governor of Gujarat Sri. S.S. Bhandari and Chief Minister of Gujarat Sri. Narendra Modi had graced the occasion and all three politicians helped to symbolically hand out the keys to the newly constructed homes. In his speech Advani applauded the MAM for its relief work. At the ceremony, it was also officially announced that the villagers and the state government had officially renamed the three villages after Amma in appreciation of the efforts of the Math to rehabilitate the villagers. Modsar is now Amrita Nagar, Dagara is now Amritamayi Nagar, and Mokhana is Amritapur.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri. Advani lauded the MAM as the best among non-governmental organizations for its role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort. Gujarat Governor Shri S.S. Bhandari and the Chief Minster Shri. Narendra Modi hailed the Mata Amritanandamayi Math for its massive rehabilitation work in the remote villages of Kutch district, within a shortest period of 5 months.
In the first phase, construction of nearly a thousand houses, primary health center, primary school, high school and a vocational educational institute have been completed at a cost of Rs. 22 crores. After the ceremony, Amma gave Darshan to all the villagers. After the Darshan, Amma had visited and blessed all the three villages.