The students of Saraswati Vidyalaya in Godhra, run by the RSS education wing Vidyabharti, have been asked to collect donations for helping run a similar school in Bharuch. The students of Class VI-VIII are busy collecting “donations” for their sister-concern RSS school, Madhav Vidyapeeth, located at Kakadkui village in Bharuch district.
The donations are aimed to “help educate children of tribals” in Bharuch as Madhav Vidyapeeth does not charge any fees from the students.
The students of Saraswati Vidyalaya in Godhra have been collecting funds as part of an assignment from their school ahead of Makar Sankranti on January 14. Madhav Vidyapeeth is the latest addition to the list of RSS-run schools in Gujarat. The parents of students studying there, mostly form backward classes, said they were not informed about the assignment. A parent, who did not wish to be identified, said, “We expect the school to at least inform parents about such assignments being given to students to collect donations. Our children are going around the town after school hours asking unknown people for money to fill up the leaflets. Most students feel responsible about the assignments and it must be communicated to parents .”
The trustee of Saraswati Vidyalaya, Prakash Soni, who is also a Sangh member, says the exercise will instil a “sense of responsibility” in the minds of the children and is not mandatory. Soni told The Indian Express, “The funds are being collected for Madhav Vidyapeeth in Bharuch which imparts education to tribal children from 125 villages free of cost. There are 300 schools in Gujarat run by Vidyabharti.
A Vidyabharti leaflet distributed during the Madhav Vidyapeeth inauguration in Kakadkui said, “Vidyabharti is educating tribals to make sure they are aware of what is happening around them. It is unfortunate that people see Vidyabharti as a violent organisation. It is not true. The aim is to educate through the tenets of Hindu way of life.”