The Divine Mercy Prayer Group (DMPG) was formed in Odisha in the year 2000 with the blessings of His Holiness Mahaperiyava of Kanchi, by a few altruistic volunteers who work tirelessly to help all suffering humanity: be they young, old, destitute, infirm, enslaved, bonded, mentally or physically challenged, poor or rich. Directed by the ever-present spirit of His Holiness Mahaperiyava, guided and supervised by Guruji Shri Mumbai Vijayan Swamigal, the team members have extended their helping hands all over India from Odisha and West Bengal in the east, Delhi and U.P. in the north, Gujarat in the west and Tamil Nadu in the south.
The origins of this stupendous service to humanity can be traced back to a sultry afternoon in 1997 near Paradip port in Odisha. Our Guruji was retracing the pada yatra (long journey by foot) undertaken by His Holiness Mahaperiyava. While walking on this path, he came to a small village inhabited mainly by dalits (untouchables). He looked at the pitiable conditions of the villagers living in dire poverty, a majority of whom lacked even the very basic necessities of life. Moved by their condition, Guruji’s compassionate heart poured out in prayer to Ayya. As he continued walking, a young girl as if drawn by a magnetic force, ran up to him and feeling overwhelmed with a sense of awe and gratitude, fell at his feet. Tears streamed down her face in response to his divine radiation. Guruji knew that the hapless girl was mute, and her parents were too poor to get her married. Several villagers gathered there, and everyone prostrated before Guruji. He listened to the grievances of all those who beseeched him for help. It was then that Guruji, under the command of His Holiness, vowed to wipe away the tears of the anguished, the afflicted and the miserable. The effort that began in Odisha spread to North India, then moved West to Gujarat, then Tamil Nadu and has continued overseas as well.
The members of the group reach out to the needy by visiting slums and other contact points such as pavements, bus terminus, railway station platforms, market places, theaters, and places of religious interest. There, these divine workers assess and understand the people’s immediate problems and needs. Gradually these contact points become known to several more who seek help, where they congregate regularly. The team members then help them by addressing their individual needs.
In order to increase its reach, the DMPG is also involved in aiding several well-known local organizations, some of which are orphanages, old age homes and homes for the mentally and physically challenged. It would be an endless list if one were to call out every philanthropic deed of the team but some of these include: serving meals to the hungry; distribution of clothing and medicines for the poor, school bags and school supplies for adivasi (indigenous) children, blankets and winter clothing for the needy; sending disaster relief aid to remote areas during the recent flooding in Tamil Nadu and Kerala; rehabilitating newly released jail inmates to give them a life of dignity and acceptance in society; releasing bonded laborers and their families from the iron grip of their exploitative employers; setting up livelihood for adivasis in Ooty; educating poor orphaned girls in an effort to empower them to become financially independent; opening tuition centers for adivasi children and helping in the marriage arrangements of poor couples.
Though the DMPG does not have an office either physical or virtual, or even a registered name, the team is able to accomplish all this and more because of the divine guidance and strength that it draws from Ayya. Lakhs and lakhs of people remain forever in gratitude for the indefatigable efforts of our beloved Guruji and the Divine Mercy Prayer Group.