Charity and Community Services by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
Founder of RSS
Saksham: “Cornea Andhatv-Mukt Bharat Abhiyan” (CAMBA)
Saksham- “Cornea Andhatv-Mukt Bharat Abhiyan” (CAMBA) is the latest project taken by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on March 5, 2016. RSS is well known for its charitable program and this is the latest in the series. Approximately 15 million people in India are blind and about 25% of them are due to a defect or injury in the cornea. The only solution is to get an eye in donation and place it on the blind person.
India requires 2-3 million eyes to provide each one with an eye. However, only 25000 eyes are donated every year and therefore an awareness campaign is required. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will put its organizational machinery to collect data of the persons who require a cornea after a proper medical investigation. They will also campaign to inspire persons to donate their eyes after death.
RSS has also an aim to set up an eye bank in each and every district in India.
Charities and Community services of RSS
RSS is a large social organization in India well known for its charities and community services. RSS is known to all Indians since half a century. Here RSS does not refer to "Really simple syndication", we are familiar to on the web, it is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Rashtriya means "National", Swayamsevak means "Volunteer" and Sangh means "organization" in the Sanskrit language. Hence, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh refers to National Volunteers' organization or RSS in short.
RSS cadres are volunteering themselves for charities and community services since inception. The organization is well structured and disciplined. RSS have the highest number of volunteers in the world in its role. Swayamsevak or volunteers are dedicated to the charity and community service as well as to the Nation. The volunteers of RSS feel the Nation India as their mother (Bharat Mata where Bharat means India and Mata mean mother).
Major activities of RSS are in India but they also provide services to other countries. They have contributed in many places overseas. Sri Mohan Bhagwat is present chief (Sir Sanghchalak) of RSS living in their headquarter at Nagpur.
Sri Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded this organization with few youngs and named it Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as it was a nationalist organization of volunteers. Sri Balasaheb Deoras, Nanaji Deshmukh, Guru Golvalkar, Prof Rajendra Singh alias Rajju Bhaiyya, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Sindhia, Lalkrishna Advani were among the key members who contributed to the building blocks of RSS.
RSS has several wings such as Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization; Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, A labor organization: Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, an organization dedicated to the tribal: and much more. All of these organizations work in a synchronized way for charity and community services.
I will be describing one of their services (Ekal Vidyalaya) in the next para.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee photo
Community services: Ekal Vidyalaya
The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation is a charitable trust that initiates, supports, and runs non-formal one-teacher schools (popularly known as Ekal Vidyalayas) all over the country. With the participation of numerous non-profit trusts and organizations, this program has now become the greatest non-governmental education movement in the country."
This is from the horse's mouth. This is exactly what the website of Ekal Vidyalaya introduces. The movement is inspired by a quote of Swami Vivekananda, " If the poor boy can not come to education, education must go to him".
As of today, they are running 27041 schools in the tribal areas. Most of those are situated in remote places which have no schools. 753123 socially deprived tribal students are enrolled in these schools. The organization has an ambitious plan to run hundred thousand schools (Ekal Vidyalaya) in India within few years.
The schools do not run in a formal way. Ekal Vidyalaya movement has developed its own and unique way and syllabus of education. They concentrate on four areas of education i.e. Basic education, Health education, Development education and Empowerment education.
These schools cost very little because dedicated volunteers work for the same. There is seven thousand full time devoted volunteers in this organization volunteering for tribal education in India. You can sponsor a school with little money as small amount as approximately $500 for a year.
Single teacher school
Friends of tribal society
Friends of tribal society, another organization is built to fund the movement. Mainly business communities of India are members of this organization.This is an India-wide organization that helps run more than 27000 schools in the tribal areas. Schools are situated in villages, Jungles, and hills. RSS is the parent organization of this society.
These schools help the tribal students for their general education, discipline, and ethics. Friends of tribal society provide education free of cost.
How the schools run:
Ekal Vidyalaya foundation and friends of tribal society manage affairs of schools and fundraising activities respectively. Foundation selects educated persons from the villages where schools to be started and train them as teachers. The selected teacher runs the school in his or her village for two or three hours. Timings of the schools are flexible and adjusted according to the local need.
The society pays for the salary of the teacher and provides furniture, pedagogy and teaching materials such as blackboards, books, notebooks, and pens.
The society has seven thousand full-time volunteers and thousands of other part-timers. 23 offices all over India manages all these affairs.
Prayer in a meeting
Ekal Vidyalaya in Jharkhand : Empowerment
RSS and Charity to cattle
India produces the highest quantity of milk in the world. Most of this milk comes from cattle of India. However, cattle of India were in measurable conditions a few decades back. RSS took the challenge to save Indian cattle to restore the rural economy of India.
RSS started a campaign against cow slaughter in India. Their movements have got success in some provinces of India such as Rajasthan, Gujrat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some other Indian states.
The cow has been treated as a mother in India since ancient times because it was the backbone of Indian rural economy.Cows provided milk and bulls and oxen were used for ploughing and transporting. Hindu community believes that the gods and goddesses live in the body of a cow.The cow progeny provides cow dung used as organic manure. Cattle- urine is one of the best pesticides. This is also used for Ayurvedic medicines.
Volunteers of RSS worked hard to save the cow progeny in India. They have even sacrificed their lives for the same. Govansh Rakshan Samvardhan Parishad, a wing of RSS manages all affairs related to cattle.
Community services of RSS during disasters
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS have several other wings that serve students, old age persons, tribal society etc. However, the most significant service RSS provides is during disasters and natural calamities. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RSS always stands with the people in danger and in distress. The volunteers have shown their abilities in crisis management innumerable times.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RSS took charges at the time of severe earthquake Kucch in 2001 when the government found difficulties to save the people. It was the most severe earthquake in Gujrat that took thousands of lives and caused billions of dollars' property loss. Volunteers of RSS from across the country worked day and night in rescue operations. They managed food, drinking water, clothes, medicines for the people. They worked tirelessly for months for rehabilitation of the quake victims.
Similarly, they went for rescue operations in Uttarakhand during natural calamities in the year 2013. Heavy rainfall in the Himalayan range of Uttarakhand brought disasters to local people as well as tourists. RSS volunteers came into action and saved several lives in Kedarnath, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, and several other places.
These are only a few examples and in fact, you will find RSS volunteers almost everywhere when you need them most.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat advising BJP Leaders
BJP, Political wing of RSS
I will be concluding with a discussion about its political wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was formerly known as Bharatiya Jansangh. It has become the most important nowadays. Atal Bihari Bajpayee, a Swayamsevak of RSS sent to Jansangh in the early fifties and became the Prime Minister of India in the nineties. He headed the Nation India as PM for three times till 2004. Sri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat reached to the post of Vice President of India though he lost the Presidential election.
BJP ruled in several provinces in India likes of Rajasthan, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand. Kalyan Singh (UP), Saklecha, Sundar Lal Patwa, Shivraj Singh Chouhan (All from MP), Dr. Raman Singh (Chhatisgarh), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Gopinath Munde (Maharashtra), Madanlal Khurana and Saheb Singh Verma (Delhi) are among major provincial leaders of BJP.
Sri Narendra Modi, three times Chief Minister of Gujrat has become the main hero of BJP victory in 2014 Loksabha election. BJP has got the triumphing victory and an absolute majority in Loksabha in his leadership. Naturally, he has been elected as leader of parliament and became the Prime Minister of India. He took oath on May 25, 2014, as PM of India and continuing successfully in his office.