AVA Instructor at Large: The C20 Global Seedball Campaign, at Puducherry, India

AVA Instructor at Large: The C20 Global Seedball Campaign, at Puducherry, India

In what world does a grassroots environmental initiative like “seedball tossing” involve the in-person participation of the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, thousands of participants, and many other important government leaders, with only a couple days’ notice? In the inspiring world of Civil 20, 2023! This is one event of many in the Global Seedball Campaign, one initiative of Amma’s C20 efforts in Sustainable and Resilient Communities.

The making and distribution of seedballs
Putting some seeds in a ball of manure or compost and soil is an ancient technique for reforestation and soil restoration that offers a way for community groups to come together and contribute to restoring our planet’s ecological balance. Seedballs can be thrown into areas needing restoration—or dropped from helicopters or planes!  

Under the guidance of Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, the Chair of Civil 20 during India’s 2023 G20 Presidency, the Working Group for Sustainable & Resilient Communities partnered with AYUDH (the youth wing of Mata Amritanandamayi Math) to launch the C20 Global Seedball Campaign. The goal was to make, and toss, 1 million seedballs worldwide.  Globally, volunteers gathered at Embracing the World centers across India, and in Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Australia, and Africa as part of an effort to encourage people to contribute to this goal in whatever way possible. Other organizations, including the Government of Puducherry, private schools and colleges, and even businesses who wished to contribute to their communities, joined in the campaign.

In a way, the global campaign itself is a metaphorical seedball.  The idea for the campaign was the seed, and the spread of that idea throughout Embracing the World centers across the world, to other organizations and businesses, is akin to the spread and rooting of that seed.

Seedballs mimic nature by providing protection and fertilizer for the seeds inside. If you’ve ever seeded a garden and watched birds swoop in and eat most of the seeds, you can probably see why the coating around the seeds is protective in more than one way.  

On August 7, 2023, President Murmu graced the C20 Global Seedball Campaign,
along with many government officials and dignitaries (see partial list below), at the Thirukanchi Temple in Puducherry, India. She inaugurated the Seedball Dispersal initiative by tossing the first seedballs made by Puducherry students, to help with reforestation at the Temple grounds.

The event, originally envisioned as a simple series of workshops and classes for students and members of the NCC (National Cadet Corps), grew like, well, fertile seedballs, into a huge event with 5,000 student participants from Puducherry government and private schools and colleges, as well as volunteers from all over Tamil Nadu. Amrita Virtual Academy also joined in to support the effort. Chandrika Suliman, an educator with the Amritaculture gardening and ecology classes, was an organizer for the event.

With the power of grassroots organization, youthful passion and the hope the project embodies, word spread quickly. Eventually the campaign distributed 500,000 seedballs across vulnerable ecosystems in the area around Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Other cities, like Coimbatore, Chennai, have since held similar events—the power and passion initiated by the Puducherry event resulted in both vitally needed environmental reforestation and education, while also being a widely noticed example of cooperation and collaboration across many different organizations and levels of government, citizens, and NGOs. The whole world needs such examples of sincere gatherings and outpourings of cooperation and hope.

In addition to President Murmu, the event included esteemed guests such as Dr. (Tmt). Tamilisai Soundararajan, Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Puducherry; Shri Thiru. N. Rangasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry; Shri Thiru. C. Djeacoumar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Forest, Puducherry; and Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, Treasurer, Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Students from government schools, private schools, medical college students, arts college students, NSS and NCC students were among the participants.

For information about the inauguration of the program in Puducherry on July 21, 2023, just two weeks before the event described above, please see the video below:

Globally the campaign has taken many forms. For example, at the19th Annual European AYUDH Forum, in August, 2023, Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri led the group in a seedball distribution in which seedballs were made and planted around the German ashram.

Source:  https://www.embracingtheworld.org/news/ayudh-europe-dare-to-dream/: AVA Instructor at Large: The C20 Global Seedball Campaign, at Puducherry, India


  • A news program about  President Droupadi Murmu’s Seedball Tossing event: 

  • See how the Indian Navy has tossed the seedballs from helicopters over degraded forest areas, to show their support for the C20 Global Seedball Campaign: 


How to Make Seed Balls! 🌳 Easy Tree Planting for Eco-Harmony!

How to Make Seed Balls! 🌳 Easy Tree Planting for Eco-Harmony!

Every year, humans destroy around 10 million hectares of forests, causing huge ecological imbalance that affects earth’s climate and biodiversity. Deforestation has a profound impact on mankind, wildlife, and other life forms in nature.

As deforestation continues, urgent action is needed to protect the planet’s biodiversity and ensure the survival and wellbeing of countless species on earth.

The Civil 20 working group on Sustainable & Resilient Communities (SRC), under the guidance and vision of Amma as Chair of C20 for India’s G20 Presidency, is deeply honored to launch a ‘Global Seedball Campaign’ that will work towards producing and distributing 1 million seeds of hope in the year 2023.

A seedball is made up of soil and seeds, often mixed with clay and other organic materials to hold the ball together. They are designed to be thrown or scattered in areas where vegetation is desired and rely on natural rainfall to germinate and grow into mature plants. This is an ancient technique used for reforestation and soil restoration. Seedballs offer an environmentally friendly and low-cost solution to a global problem and has the potential to make a significant impact on the health and resilience of our planet’s ecosystems.

Amrita Virtual Academy offers this video tutorial with step-by-step instructions to join in on the challenge. May the spread of seedballs and increased awareness of the importance of trees lead to restoring ecological balance.

How many seed balls will you make?

Amrita Virtual Academy Highlighted at C20 Education & Digital Transformation Summit

Amrita Virtual Academy Highlighted at C20 Education & Digital Transformation Summit

When the 2023 G20 Summit convenes on September 9-10 in New Delhi, the leaders of the world’s major economies, comprising 19 countries and the European Union, will address the major global issues of our time.

The Government of India holds the G20 presidency for 2023, and has appointed Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) as the chair of an official G20 engagement group known as Civil20, or C20. As a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), C20 will bring forth non-government and non-business voices and present specific policy recommendations to the world leaders gathering in New Delhi for this year’s G20 summit. 

Since Amma’s appointment as C20 Chair, numerous C20 conferences have catalyzed new levels of collaboration and problem solving among civil organizations. It is within this significant global framework that the C20 Education & Digital Transformation Summit was held on May 20-21, 2023 in Trivandrum, Kerala. The event featured 66 speaker presentations by prominent leaders in this field—including one highlighting the work and vision of Amrita Virtual Academy (AVA).

AVA educator and program coordinator Chandrika Suliman began her presentation by sharing what makes Amrita Virtual Academy unique: that every course offering is rooted in spiritual values. As a result, AVA students experience growth well beyond the knowledge and skills acquired.

Chandrika then presented a case study demonstrating the power of such an approach. The case study highlighted a collaboration between AVA and Amrita University, initiated during the pandemic, when Amrita University professors observed that their Computer Science students had become disconnected from the natural world. The professors noticed campus littering was on the rise. And with students glued to their laptop and phone screens, social skills had also diminished. In hopes of reversing this trend, Chandrika was requested to give a 45-minute presentation on love for nature. Amazingly, just after the presentation 200 of the 400 attendees signed up to learn the principles of Regenerative Agriculture through an AVA Amritaculture curriculum.

Of those students who were accepted into the pilot program, 72% not only completed the course, but also wanted to continue learning and become youth leaders in the field of ecology and regenerative agriculture.

“People are longing to return to a harmonious relationship with nature,” Chandrika observed. “In this time of climate crisis, people are longing to move beyond the feelings of despair and hopelessness, and into an experience of connection and empowerment. As Amma encourages, ‘Light your little candle and step forward.’ This pilot course was a beautiful way to help people know how to do that.”

She continued, “What I learned from those 200 students, who were so eager to contribute back to nature, is that there’s still hope. There’s still hope, and we just need to be intelligent and loving and keep moving forward.” 

By Amma’s grace, may the course offerings of Amrita Virtual Academy continue to ignite such optimism and determination within us all.