Quietly and unobtrusively, the ideological parent of the BJP – the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is making its mark among the Bihar flood victims.
Activists of six RSS affiliates, namely, Sewa Bharati, Ganga Samagrah, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Bajrang Dal, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, have fanned out in the state’s flood-hit districts to provide relief including food, medicines and survival apparatus to the victims.
“About 11,000 of our workers are in the service of the flood victims. We have reached out to about 66,000 victims so far. We are supplying them food packets and medicines every day”, said Amarendra Kumar Singh of the RSS who is in overall charge of relief operations.
“Our relief efforts are concentrated in marooned, remote villages which we reach by hiring private boats. This is never easy as boats are scarce. However, these are villages the government agencies have not been able to reach,” Singh claimed. It’s a claim the state government has rubbished.
The relief work by the RSS affiliates is in contrast to Bihar’s main opposition party – the BJP – which is largely perceived to have confined its flood relief activism in the state to pressurising the state government to do more for the victims of the calamity that has affected over 35 lakh people spread across 12 districts of the state.
Although assembly elections in Bihar are not due for another four years, the RSS outreach stands to bring it closer to large sections of other backward classes and extremely backward castes, which constitute a bulk of flood victims.
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