With the RSS deciding to go in for a sartorial change from its trademark half pants to trousers, new sets of uniform will be provided to its volunteers ahead of the foundation-day celebrations on the Vijayadashami day on October 11, at its headquarters here and other centres across the country.
Around 7 lakh trousers are to be provided in the first phase to the ‘swayamsevaks,’ to be donned as part of its ‘Ganavesh’, as the uniform is called by sangh cadre, RSS sources said.
The RSS will formally adopt the new ‘Ganavesh’ from Vijayadashami, for which a consignment of the first lot of 10,000 sets of the uniform – comprising white shirt, black cap, canvas belt, dark brown socks and black shoes, bamboo cane and full-length dark Khaki trousers – have arrived here and being sold at a shop at Reshimbag in southern part of the city, they said.
The decision to effect the most visible change in the 90-year-old attire was taken in March this year at the annual meeting of the organisation’s highest body, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha.
The decision was preceded by nearly a decade of deliberations, feedback from grass-root activists across the nation and internal surveys, sources said.
Changing with times, the RSS, way back in 1940, had switched from khaki to white shirt, and more recently in 2010 from thick leather belts to canvas belts.
The full pants–costing around Rs 250–has been styled by a RSS regular in Rajasthan, and his 40-man team plans to send around 50,000 pieces to Nagpur headquarters by this Vijayadashami.
They have been stitched in Gurgaon but the raw material was procured from Bhilwara in Rajasthan.
The basic price starts from 250 a piece for a waist size of 24 inches, which will fit a seven-year-old. The largest size is 46 inches, costing around Rs 360, they said.
All trousers are made in such a way that they can be adjusted as per the body size by one to two inches, with many options of buttons fitting.
For the slim ones, flat fronts are being offered to lend a more contemporary look, sources said, adding that for others, pleated pants will be made available.
On Monday, head of the RSS’ communications department Manmohan Vaidya had said that around 2 lakh trousers have already reached offices of organisation in various states that is being provided to all its members.