More than 1000 volunteers of RSS are reaching out to young minds through study centres– Balgokulam—set up in more than 31 districts of Madhya Pradesh, as per RSS functionaries.
RSS’ Madhya Bharat arm is helping students in their studies,–affected by Covid 19–while also introducing them to Sangh’s ideology, thoughts on patriotism and also moral and cultural values by introducing at least 600 study centres in villages of Madhya Pradesh in August, as per functionaries of the organisation.
“The schools are closed and students are being educated through online classes due to Covid 19. There are many students in MP who are lagging behind in online classes as they don’t have smart mobile phones. To help such students up to class 8, more than 1000 volunteers have started teaching at Balgokulam centres for three hours daily with the help of books and community radio, in which special educational programmes are being run to teach students,” said Satish Pimplikar, a leader of the RSS and in-charge of the programme.
“In this initiative, women volunteers of Rashtra Sevika Samiti are also participating in good numbers. The volunteers pay extra attention to weak students and if required, they teach them for extra hours,” he added.
“While covering the syllabus, we are also instilling a feeling of patriotism in the students by telling them stories of our freedom fighters and also trying to educate them on our country’s rich culture,” said a volunteer from Guna, who didn’t wish to be named.
The classes are being conducted to ensure that students maintain social distancing to avoid contracting the disease.
“The class starts with Saraswati vandana (worship of Goddess Saraswati) and ends with Vande Matram. In the class, students maintain social distancing. The students come with their books, which have been distributed by school teachers during a door to door campaign. We explain one topic each of two subjects daily to students and also give them homework to see if they understood the topic,” said the volunteer quoted above.
Most of the centres have been started in backward areas. In all, 1000 centres will be started in the next two weeks in the most backward areas of the state, said another leader, who didn’t wish to be named.
Pimplekar said “The decision was taken after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat guided us to help students in their studies amid the Covid-19 situation, during a meeting held in Bhopal in July last week.”
However, opposition Congress alleged that the real motive of RSS is not to teach students but to spread their saffron ideology.
Congress spokesperson JP Dhanopia said, “This is more an expansion plan of the RSS to spread their saffron ideology in MP. They chose school students because they could be brainwashed easily.”
BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal, however, praised the initiative.
“This is a very good initiative to help the students. The volunteers of RSS are doing welfare work across the nation. Congress leaders have made it their habit to get involved in criticism as they are pessimistic people.”
This story first appeared on August 29, 2020 in ‘Hindustan Times’ here.