IN A first, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has set up street-side enrollment booths in Mumbai and the Konkan region, with a view to attract youngsters to the organisation. According to RSS office-bearers of the Konkan wing, 20 to 25 such booths have been functional for the last eight to 10 days. On an average, RSS leaders claim, each booth gets about 40 fresh registrations daily. “Ten booths are located in the Mumbai suburbs. The booths have been set up in locations where there are more youngsters and where the district centres of our organisation exist,” said one office-bearer.
In Mumbai, the enrollment booths have been functioning at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Lokhandwala in Andheri (West), Jai Prakash Nagar in Goregaon (East), Link Road in Goregaon (West), Powai and Mulund (East), among others.
The enrollment drive comes before an outreach event for youngsters in January. “We have set up these booths as part of the Hindu Chetna Sangam to be held on January 7 in the Konkan region. It is an outreach programme intended to have a dialogue with youngsters who are curious and interested to know about the RSS. The booths are getting a good response,” said Pramod Bapat, head of communications for the RSS’s Konkan wing.
For now, the enrollment booths are functional in the weekends and on holidays, depending on the availability of Swayamsevaks. At the booths, visitors are told about the RSS’s history, its formation, information about various initiatives of the RSS for rural development, cow protection, social harmony, promotion of Swadeshi goods and others. They are also given information about RSS shakhas near their localities.
The Hindu Chetna Sangam on January 7 is a one-day event to be held simultaneously at 255 locations in Konkan. Approximately 1.25 lakh Sawayamsevaks are expected to participate. “There are several pockets and areas where there is a need to establish the various works undertaken by the RSS and to reach out to new places where the Sangh’s work has not reached so far. The Hindu Chetna Sangam is a step in that direction… The aim of the event is to take the Hindutva ideology to people in villages and to create a positive picture among them about it,” said Vitthal Kamble, joint secretary of the RSS’s Konkan region.
As part of preparations for the event, exhibitions on the Sangh’s works, streetplays on social issues and other events were held at various places where citizens expressed their desire to be associated with the Sangh, Kamble added. “There is a need to unite good and active people in the society to achieve the Sangh’s target of taking our motherland to a supreme height,” said Kamble.