Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 31 IANS | 2 years ago

Free surgeries, a plantation drive, book releases besides music and dance programmes will mark the 60th birthday of "hugging saint" Mata Amritanandamayi.

Acclaimed director Shekhar Kapur will film the event, named "Amritavarsham60".

The two-day programme will conclude Sep 27, the day she turns 60. Most of the events will be held at her mutt, about 80 km from the state capital.

Around half a million followers from India and abroad are expected to turn up.

"The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi will provide Rs.50 crore of free kidney transplants, cardiac surgeries and cancer treatments to the poor throughout the country," said a release issued by the mutt Saturday.

As a member of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign, the mutt along with Amma's other organisations will embark on a go-green mission across continents, planting six million saplings over a year.

Of this, more than 600,000 would be planted in Kerala with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy watering the first sapling Sep 2 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine will introduce several cutting-edge technologies developed by it. These include an implantable beating-heart patch for heart-attack victims, a nano-medicine that treats drug-resistant leukaemia and a drug-delivering polymer wafer to prevent recurrence of brain tumours.

The mutt will introduce integrated nano material-developed solar cells and 500-time extra efficient battery and having larger power density.

The project is being done jointly with the Amrita University School of Engineering in Amritapuri.

A three-day-long ritualistic prayer "Mahachandika Homam" will be conducted for world peace in the mutt with more than 50 traditionally trained priests taking part.

Musicians, singers and dancers from around the world, cutting across artistic cultures and styles, will render performances.

(Posted on 31-08-2013)