Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: AP
On January 3, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "An Indian religious leader known as 'the hugging saint' — because she uses hugs as a gesture of blessing — pledged $22 million Monday to help survivors of last month's devastating tsunami. Money donated by Mata Amritanandamayi will be used to build homes for tsunami victims in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Amritanandamayi's native village of Parayakadavu in Kerala was among those hit by the Dec. 26 disaster, which killed more than 139,000 people in Asia and Africa."