RSS for improving life of tribals, not seeking conversion: Joshi

RSS for improving life of tribals, not seeking conversion: Joshi

Amid the row over reconversion campaign by some right-wing Hindu outfits like VHP and Bajrang Dal, RSS today said the primary purpose of its volunteers working in tribal areas was to create awareness and improve the quality of life of the locals through service.

"The primary purpose of RSS volunteers working in tribal areas is to create awareness among the locals and bring about a qualitative change in their lives," RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi told reporters on the concluding day of the three-day session of Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the Sangh's apex decision making body.

He was asked about the difference between the work done by Christian missionaries, whom the pro-Hindutva elements have been accusing of engaging in religious conversions, and RSS volunteers, in the tribal areas.

Joshi said initially when the volunteers went to work in tribal pockets their intention was to protect the local culture, tradition and lifestyle. However, they soon found that the areas lacked even basic amenities like schools, hospitals and means of transport.

"Now they are working to improve the lives of tribals through service and that is our primary goal there," he said.

Joshi said his primary task over the next three years will be to expand the organisation, particularly in the tribal and rural areas.

"RSS is present and active in 56,000 villages in the country. Our aim is to reach all 6.5 lakh villages," he said.

Joshi said there was growing acceptability among the intellectual class, youth and the rural folk of RSS' Hindutva ideology with three thousand people joining the organisation every day on an average.

He said his endeavour will be to end discrimination in the Hindu society on the basis of caste.

RSS has already launched a campaign to end discrimination on the basis of caste in use of temples, drinking water sources and cremation grounds.

"We have to end such a divide," he said.

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