Kolkata – Amrita Kuteerams – FREE Housing Project

Posted on 11. Jan, 2010 by in AmmaInBengal, KolkataAshram

Panihati - Amrita Kuteerams

Panihati - Amrita Kuteerams - Free Housing for the poor and needy

In 2004, on an initiative from Sri Ashok Bhattacharya, Honorable Minister of Urban Development, Government of West Bengal, and after several rounds of discussions with authorities of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), it was finally decided that Mata Amritanandaymayi Math (MAM) and KMDA would jointly construct 275 multi-storied houses at Panihati, Shodepur. After many rounds of meetings regarding working details, plans and blueprints of this project, and after several finer details were ironed out, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in the presence of Sri Ashok Bhattacharya, CEO of KMDA and several other officials from KMDA.

The cost of this project of building 275 FREE houses for the needy was Rs. 2.5 Crores. Both MAM and KMDA shared this cost equally. However, when 275 houses would be ready to be given away to beneficiaries, 250 would be allotted by KMDA and only 25 would be allotted by MAM.

The foundation stone for this project was laid in a grand ceremony by Honorable Sri Ashok Bhattacharya. He spoke highly about MAM and its charitable activities. On being accosted by reporters about the issue of a Communist government associating itself with a spiritual organization, Sri Ashok Bhattacharya replied,

The government is not concerned about the religious nature of the institution. What the government sees is the good work being done by the Math, to uplift the downtrodden people of the Society and in this activity the government is happy to associate with M. A. MATH.

For this project, an one acre picturesque plot of land on the banks of beautiful Holy Ganges has been assigned. MAM has built four multi-storied buildings which accounts for 275 residential units. Each unit has a living room along with an attached bath and a small kitchen. The buildings are designed to have provisions for running water supply as well as electric power for 24 hours a day. A small hall has been constructed for conducting functions, satsang and other festivities. This is a common feature in all colonies of free houses (Amrita Kuteerams) being built by MAM. This residential colony would also have plantations, a proper sewage disposal system, and internal roads. There was a great demand (from people) to get houses allotted via this project.

This project’s construction was started in great earnest. MAM (Kolkata) had hoped to complete all the residential units by March, 2006. Unfortunately, in 2004, Mother Nature’s wrath expressed itself through an infamous destructive Asian Tsunami which affected the lives of millions. Amma’s whole ashram machinery was withdrawn from other projects. All personnel, material resources and finances were used for rehabilitation and meeting the needs of people who had not only lost their loved ones but their homes in the Tsunami. Aiding their lives by meeting their needs was the most urgent agenda on MAM’s manifesto in those times.

Subsequently MAM’s Amrita Kuteeram project at Panihati got delayed. It was restarted after a little over two years (from 2004). By Amma’s grace, this project has now been completed. The construction has been superb and the houses are really sought after. Since the cost of houses have gone up about three times from their initially projected (estimated) cost, people who will be staying in these units are indeed blessed to have a house on the banks of Holy Ganges.

These Amrita Kuteerams will be inaugurated by Amma Herself during Her visit to Kolkata in March, 2010.

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