Chapter 25: “Saa Vidyaayaa Vimukthaye|”- Education is the one which liberates!!
RSS has been creating liberals of true kind. Hard to believe?! The true liberal thinking is nothing like what Indian intellectuals propose. Our culture had always said, it is the education which liberates. That’s why we don’t see JNU like episode among learned cadre if RSS. Because our culture also teaches
‘Vidya dadathi vinayam’ – be humble, live with humility, and Acharya devobhava – your guru is your god!
The Vidya Bharati an affiliate of RSS has taken education to remotest of place and achieved the unimaginable feat. Here are the details,
Vidya Bharati in short for Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan, is the educational wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Vidya Bharati is one of the largest private network of schools in India, operating 12,000 schools with 32,00,000 students, as of 2016 and has its registered headquarters in Lucknow with a functional headquarters in Delhi and a sub-office in Kurukshetra.
RSS, under the guidance of M. S. Golwalkar ji established its first Gita school at Kurukshetra in 1946. The first Saraswati Shishu Mandir brand school was established in Gorakhpur in 1952, by Nanaji Deshmukh.
The Saraswati Shishu Mandir model was quickly replicated across several locations and as the number of schools increased, there arose the need of a definite management structure.
Accordingly, Shishu Shiksha Prabandak Samiti, was set up to coordinate activities between these schools at the state level. Such committees were set up in Delhi, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
In 1977-78, an all-India apex body, Vidya Bharati was set up to coordinate the activities between these state committees and was headquartered in Delhi.
By the early 1990s, the network had grown to 5,000 schools and by 2003, to about 14,000 schools with 1.7 million pupils. This expansion was facilitated by the growing demand for education in India and the disaffection with the state school system.
As of March 2018, it had 24,396 schools, 45 million students, over 93,000 teachers, 15 teacher training colleges, 12 degree colleges and 7 vocational and training institutions.
Most of the Vidya Bharati schools are affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education or their local State Boards.
In addition to formal schools (which go by a variety of names such as shishu vatika, shishu mandir, vidya mandir, saraswati vidyala etc.), Vidya Bharati also runs sanskar kendras and single-teacher schools- Ekal Vidyalaya. It has over 250 intermediate colleges and about 25 institutions of higher education and training colleges.
It has schools in remote areas of the north-eastern states as well as states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu where RSS does not have much influence. Particular attention is given to underdeveloped regions and regions inhabited by tribal communities.
The chain has over 50 state and regional committees affiliated to it, making it the largest voluntary association in India.
The Ekal Vidyalaya, is steadily moving ahead to reach its target of having presence in 100,000 villages with its non-formal, play-n-learn, One Teacher Schools.
As on 30th April 2019, there are 88,097 one-teacher schools in as many villages.
Ekal Vidyalayas started as a movement to impart integrated education & holistic development for children of rural and tribal India.
The main activity undertaken in this truly people’s movement was to run one-teacher schools (known as Ekal Vidyalayas) all over India, in the remotest rural & tribal villages. The aim of the movement was to take the education to every child, wherever the child lived. Today Ekal Vidyalaya schools have been established in many areas of Nepal too.
The Ekal movement aims to help eradicate illiteracy from rural and tribal India and Nepal following the philosophy of rural development based on the criteria of equality & inclusiveness across all the sections of the society.
Apart from its goal of achieving the national standards of Minimum Level of Learning, Ekal Vidyalaya also seeks to empower the village community for its own self-development through five verticals oo
- Functional Education,
- Healthcare Education,
- Development Education,
- Empowerment Education and
- Ethics & Value Education.
If you truly wish to be a liberal, be educated, be grounded, be agile. Work for the betterment of society without seeking any favour as returns like RSS does. Ones you open up and clear your mind off prejudice you will see there is no other Organisation as liberal as RSS.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth