Crowd Controlling During Amma’s birthday

September 27th is so special for everyone at Amritapuri because it is the birthday of our beloved Amma. This time we had a wonderful time celebrating her 59th birthday. And all here at Amrita engage themselves in doing selfless service in one way or the other. People from distant places all over India and abroad come to participate. This time, more than two lakhs of people attended the function. Many students here at Amrita University will be engaged in various volunteering activities for the two days. The main activities include accommodation, venue management, crowd control, food serving, plate washing, volunteer care etc. And I was one of the student coordinators for the crowd control. I had a wonderful time doing it.

We started the job one week before making the list of students engaged in crowd control and putting them into various shifts and making teams. It took a lot of time and effort to make the final list. We kept refining it each time. And after the final list was made, we discussed with the team leaders of each team about their duties and passed it on to everyone. About 200 students volunteered for Crowd Control.

My duty started from 26th morning 9:00am. It went on till 28th morning. Peek timings were when food is given in food counters. On 26th token distribution was also a time of crowd. People become so restless and they just try to break the queue and get inside. Also, to make them stand in a queue initially was a big task. But I enjoyed the task completely. Some people just follow what you say and stay in the line obediently. It is easy to handle them. Some others stay in queue but keep scolding you till they get the food, telling they came first and still they became the last in the queue. During those times, sometimes you get so angry listening to their baseless arguments. But the fact that they are our guests and their age made me silent and helped me tolerate all the scoldings with complete patience. Apart from controlling the crowd, it was a great opportunity to learn what patience is. Working as a team added more fun to the job. We all stud under the sun holding hands forming a human chain to control the huge mass of people. On 27th, the lunch that must be given by 11:30 was supplied only by 2:30. Some of the people were so irritated because they were standing on the queue since 11am. People started forming queues wherever they wanted to and we struggled a lot to make them stand behind the real queue. In between, one child fainted and we gave him some food to eat and took care of him.

After the two days of crowd controlling, the happiest part was to sit near Amma, looking at her giving Darshan to her children, tirelessly, with the same smile and compassion for each person who comes to her from 27th morning till 28th morning. She is simply superb.

Once when I asked her what is the best time to study, she gave me a wonderful reply. If you have deep love to what you do, anytime will be perfect. It is the interest and passion that matters and not the time. And she proved it to me by giving Darshan for 24 hours continuously without taking rest, with complete joy and a heart full of unconditional love. Hats off to Amma.

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