Azim Premji, Subhash Ghai and GM Rao to be chief guests at Sangh Parivar's charity event
Industrialists Azim Premji and GM Rao, Subhash Ghai are expected to be chief guests, which will be presided over by Bhagwat and attended by top RSS leaders.
More than 800 not-for-profit organisations, most of them affiliated to the Sangh, are set to participate in a three-day event starting Saturday on the outskirts of New Delhi.
It will showcase the social and charitable work done by predominantly Hindu organisations. The idea is to highlight the "compassionate side"of RSS and prove that social work wasn’t something introduced to India by foreign missionaries. Industrialists Azim Premji and GM Rao, and film maker Subhash Ghai are expected to be chief guests at the inaugural function, which will be presided over by Bhagwat and attended by top RSS leaders and spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi.
It is after that the Sangh is holding an event of this kind, and it has been scaled up much higher this time with over 4,000 delegates from 836 RSS-affiliated organisations participating.
The event is being held to send out the message that "service to society has existed in the country from the beginning", said Ajit Prasad Mohapatra, the all-India Sah-Sewa Pramukh of RSS. "What the missionaries do is not of our concern. We have been doing service with a sense of responsibility, with the aim to make every Indian self-reliant with self-respect,"he said. "Our charity is driven by dharma, not daya."
At the event, the Sangh is expected to present the work done by its volunteers for Swachh Bharat, Kashmir floods and protection of cows, among others.
One of the key themes is cow protection.
"We will urge our volunteers and sevaks to go to farmers, villagers, and stop them from selling their old cows,"Mohapatra said. "Cows, once they stop giving milk, can be used for cow products such as cow urine and cow dung which can fetch good prices. People don’t know this and fall to the lure of butchers."Sangh leaders are expected to speak on the importance of serving the society in a united way on Saturday.
"For instance, there are over a thousand NGOs that work in the area of protection of cows, but do all these NGOs know that we must be focussing on the protection of native breeds of cows and look at bringing down the hybrid variety? We learn by each other’s experiences and so it is important that we remain united,"said Satish Agarwal, the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand incharge of Seva Bharati, the sangh’s charity wing.
The participating NGOs include those that run hospitals, schools, cultural centres, old-age homes, blood banks, yoga centres, orphanages and leprosy centres.
To showcase its full network, the sangh has started linking its affiliated NGOs online. Out of its 400 NGOs, 96 have already been linked now, said sangh sources.
Similar events, but of a smaller scale, were held earlier this year in three cities, where the sangh put up stalls and brought out brochures on the free hostels, hospitals, colleges and ashrams being run by Hindu spiritual leaders. "People talk about the charity done by missionary activities with great gusto but for decades, the sangh has been doing work but never sought publicity,"Agarwal said.
"The sangh has always believed in working for the poorest of poor, maintaining door-to-door contact. We have always focussed on smaller projects, especially in rural areas, because that creates more impact, but less noise,"Agarwal said. "But we are also changing now, feeling the need to consolidate our activities and tell peoplewe are working for them."