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The RSS and affiliate Sewa Bharti’s relentless relief work amid Lockdown

Recent, countrywide lockdown declared by the Prime Minister on 24th March in view of the looming Covid-19 crisis, created some panic like situation in Delhi among the marginalized section especially the poor, migrant laborers and daily wagers. And like every time, the RSS cadres are on the ground to reach out to those in panic and allay their fears and help them out through various means from providing meals, distributing ration and other essentials, roping team of doctors for medical advice to managing the crowd at the Anand Vihar.

The marginalized sections including the daily wagers, the laborers, the poor are hardly hit by the lockdown. They are the most vulnerable to any calamity and crisis. Amid the lockdown, the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliate organization Sewa Bharti, which works among the economically weaker sections of Indian society, including tribal and indigenous communities, urban slum dwellers and resettlement colonies (Sewa Bastis), are working day and night to provide essentials to the various groups facing challenges due to the lockdown. Sewa Bharti, Delhi has opened 24/7 helpline for any person in need of food, ration, cylinder refill and medicines, can call them on 8010066066.

The RSS Volunteers are providing food to the needy by operating 52 functional kitchens across eight zones/divisions in the national capital. Kitchens are being run to prepare food packets in three shifts. During the preparation and distribution of food packets, proper hygiene is maintained; social distancing is being strictly observed. Apart from food packets, Sewa bharti and RSS workers, are also distributing Ration kits consist of rice, flour, oil, pulses and spices in the colonies where people are registering themselves for lack of ration. Most of them are the daily wagers and migrant laborers, who do not have the ration cards. 

 With targeted approach in mind various other helplines are being run by the RSS and its affiliates for students, disabled, general-public, and people from the Northeast to help them in these difficult times of lockdown. On one such helpline, which runs by Sangh affiliate, Sewa Bharti, a distress call was received from the sex workers of GB Road, who were in need of ration and other food items. The RSS functionaries coordinated with the volunteers of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti (woman wing) and prepared a list of 986 sex workers and divided them into 250 pairs according to their location. Wheat flour, rice, spices, oil and other essential items, that will last them for eight to ten days, has been distributed among the sex workers and their families.

The RSS along with its other affiliate organization mainly National Medicos Organization (NMO) has also launched a mass awareness and vigilance campaign to check the spread of the virus. The Delhi chapter of NMO, with more than 5000 of doctors as its member, are working to prevent the onslaught of novel coronavirus pandemic. They are contacting especially the old age people on the phone regularly, checking about their health so that no case goes undetected.

YUVA Helpline -8800868686 for students

Youth United for Vision and Action (YUVA) – A bunch of like-minded volunteers united with a motive to provide a common platform to the youths and college students for exchanging ideas and polemic discussions, to ignite the spark of patriotism in the young minds,  established in the year 2016. YUVA has started 24/7 helpline number specifically for the students, who are away from their home, pursuing their degrees or enrolled in various coaching centres to shape their future. Helpline is being run by the volunteers of the YUVA with the assistance from the local RSS cadres. Many students live in paying guest and rented accommodation in areas such as Mukherjee Nagar, Karol Bagh, Satya Niketan and Rajinder Nagar etc. are facing a shortage of food and ration. This helpline is dedicated to address their concerns.

Helpline Number-9650530531 for North-East Students

The RSS has started a helpline for the students of the North-Eastern states, to reach out if they face difficulties or discrimination during the Covid-19 crisis. Most of the volunteers for the helpline is staffed from the region only. For the helpline, 9650530531, a total of 21 volunteers have been roped in, and more than 100 calls have been received within three days. Most calls are regarding help procuring ration, medical advice and gas cylinder refills. 

The RSS volunteers have always become the cynosure of the society and  the country, for their work in the service of the society, in every exigency situation, in any calamity and disaster, transcending any social barrier. Their selfless service to the society is service to the mother nation, which every volunteer perceives as his Dharma(duty) towards the country. A Muslim woman, Khalida Begum, 87, from Jammu and Kashmir has donated her savings of Rs 5 lakh, meant for the Hajj pilgrimage, to the ‘Sewa Bharati’ after apparently being “impressed with the welfare work” done by the outfit amid the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Once Swami Vivekananda said: “If you want to find God, serve man. To reach Narayana you must serve the Daridra Narayanas – the starving millions of India…”. The very idea that service of the poor is akin to worshiping the God, is deeply ingrained in Indian spiritual thinking. And with this motivation in mind, the RSS volunteers are on the ground in the service of the society and country.

And with the efforts of our health workers, cops, and safai karmcharis and everyone involve in fighting this menace, surely we will win this challenge.

Sushant Tiwari

Pursuing Law from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. Having experience of teaching students preparing for CAT, and other B school entrance exams.

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