Before it’s centennial celebrations in 2025, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) aspires to establish a presence in every district of the country.
India: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wishes to establish a presence in every district of the country in advance of its centennial celebrations in 2025. This is why RSS volunteers have begun preparing to quadruple their network, which will be in charge of spreading their footprint across the country. The RSS has approximately 3,000 pracharaks, or full-time employees, who have been assigned diverse roles within the RSS’s many branches working in fields such as education, trade unions, and tribal areas.
The Sangh hopes to treble that amount for the centenary festivities by enlisting part-time volunteers, or vistaraks, who will be able to work with the numerous offshoots, according to a Sangh functionary.
“We are looking at training and deputing these vistaraks for various programmes that the Sangh undertakes across the country. We are hoping that by March 2023 (when centenary celebrations begin), the total number of volunteers will be double the present number and the part-timers will help spread out the shakhas (branches) in areas where there are none, or too few,” the functionary added on condition of anonymity.
At the now, shakhas, or units on the ground where the Sangh’s actions are carried out, are present in 95% of the districts. The Sangh leadership has set a goal of having at least one shakha in each district.
According to the yearly report presented at the RSS’s apex decision-making body, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, there are 60,929 shakhas scattered across 38,390 sites in the country.
Earlier this year, RSS officials in Delhi stated that the organisation had trained 1 million volunteers to assist during the Covid-19 outbreak and give services during natural disasters and other emergencies.
“Aside from participating in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence), the Sangh has identified areas where it needs to focus more,” the second functionary explained. “These include raising awareness about the unsung heroes of the Independence movement, notably those from the SC (scheduled caste) and ST (scheduled tribe) communities; providing education, health care, and welfare to those in remote places; and promoting swadeshi (made in India).”
The Sangh has launched projects such as the Sankul Yojana, or self-reliance scheme, and is holding training camps in approximately 350 villages to train women and youth to become self-employed. “We’re also working in the sphere of environment and ecology, ensuring that operations like tree planting, plastic bans, and river cleaning are carried out,” the second functionary explained.