NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday greeted Mata Amrithanandamayi on her 63rd birthday, calling her a "real maa" who nurtures her devotees through "visible and invisible hands".
"I am not so lucky as to be present at the celebrations in person, I am delighted to be able to greet her, through technology. I have just returned from Kerala, and I was touched by the love and affection showered on me by the people of the state," Modi said.
"I am aware that even in her childhood, Amma was fond of giving her own food to others. Serving the old and the aged, and helping the needy have been her childhood passions," he said, praising Amrithanandamayi for spreading her love and kindness among poor.
He thanked the spiritual leader for working in the fields of sanitation, water, housing, education and health and also for her contribution to "Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan".
"Amma's initiative on building toilets has been a great help in our Swachh Bharat Programme. Amma has pledged to contribute one hundred crore rupees towards sanitation efforts in Kerala. This pledge includes the construction of 15,000 toilets for the poor," he said.
Modi also mentioned a donation of Rs 100 crore by her to the "Namami Gange" (Clean the Ganga) programme and lauded the work being done at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, of which she is the Chancellor.
"It is also heartening to note that the researchers at Amrita University are innovating new approaches to solve some of the world's most pressing problems," Modi said.