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How RSS is strengthening Indian families  through ‘Kutumb Prabodhan’

Updated: May 23, 2024 14:41
The General Secretary of the RSS, Shri Dattatreya Hosabale addressing the Kutumb Prabodhan (Family Awakening) program on Dec 23, 2021, at Dr. MPS School in Sikandra near Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Image Source: VSK
By: Vinay Nalwa

Family is considered to be most important and fundamental unit of Indian social fabric and the RashtriyaSwayasevakSangh(RSS) has been working to strengthen this unit through its unique initiative called ‘Kutumb Prabodhan’(strengthening of families and family values).

An All-India meeting of Kutumba Prabodhan initiativewas held in Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 4 – 5 September 2022. Provincial coordinators from 43 Prants(provinces) attended this meeting. The emphasis in this meeting was primarily  to discuss , assess and plan cultural and religious events, youth engagement, and any other activity related to the family well-being. Activities such as Ram Naam Sankirtan(Chanting of Sri Ram’s name), discussions on Ramayana’s message, and yoga activities during Navratri (nineday festival of worship of goddesses and feminine energy) and World Yoga Day were prominently discussed. There was a strong focus on celebrating traditional festivals and promoting cultural values within families.

The Annual Report of  RSS for the year 2023-2024also mentions many outreach programs and activities that were conducted this year under this initiate. The focus was primarily on community integration.  Efforts were made to strengthen bonds with neighbouring families and involve them in activities like Bharat Mata Pujan (Mother India worship). The year also saw programs where spiritual Gurus deliberated on the subject ‘Family: Major Center of Personal Development,’ guiding the participants. Counselling services were introduced to address stress and disputes within families, reflecting a deeper commitment to holistic well-being.

Expansion of Activities

In 2022-2023, activities under this initiative were diverse, ranging from religious events like lighting of Diwalidiyas(earthen lamp) to educational programs for parents to handle excessive use of smartphones in the family by the children as well as the elder ones. There was a focus on training sessions and camps for Kutumb Mitra (RSS volunteers who work as friends for families) to enhance their skills and promote family harmony.

In 2023-2024, the scope of activities expanded to include age-wise programs for children,adolescents, and adults, emphasizing moral values, virtues, and civic duties through games, recitation of Shlokas (Sanskrit hymns)and Stotras(collection of shlokas). Special events like Kutumb Mitra Milan (meetings of RSS volunteers who work as friends of families) and MatrishaktiSammelan(women empowerment programme) provided platforms for community engagement.

Engagement with Spiritual Leaders

In 2022-2023, spiritual leaders and social workers were involved in various events and camps, providing guidance and inspiration to participants. Their presence added spiritual depth and perspective to the activities. A three-day camp for Karyakartas(volunteers) of KutumbaPrabodhan was organised on 23 – 25 December 2022 at the ashram of Shri Banshi Wale Baba Ji on the banks of Ganga at Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Around 350   RSS workers attended the camp. All India co-ordinatorof  Kutumba Prabodhan initiative Ravindra Joshi guided the participants. Spiritual gurus like reveredShri 1008 Mahamandaleshwar Kamal Puri Ji maharaj, Dr ShailbalaPandya, SwamiBrahmadev Ji of Auroville ashram, blessed the participants. Well-known social worker Shri Pradeep Agarwal, Shri Ajay Jindal, Dr Geeta Khanna also graced the occasion.

In 2023-2024, more structured programs were initiated with spiritual leaders, focusing on topics like family development and personal growth. The program to deliberate on the subject “Family – Major Centre of the Personal Development” was arranged whereSwami GovinddevGiri, Swami Nikhileshwaranand of Ramkrishna Mission, Dr Chinmaya Pandya of Gayatri Parivar, Shri Vijay Kaushal of Vrindavan, and Shri Bhaiyyaji Joshi, a veteran Pracharak(full time worker) and former general secretary of the RSS  guided the participants.

These programs aimed to address contemporary challenges within families and society, offering practical solutions and spiritual insights.

Adoption of Modern Approaches

In 2022-2023, traditional practices like fasting, prayer, and meditation were emphasized, aligning with spiritual and cultural norms. Efforts were made to promote swadeshi and celebrate Bharatiya holidays in a traditional manner.

In 2023-2024, modern approaches such as counselling services, smartphone awareness campaigns, and digital platforms for engagement in sports were introduced to address contemporary issues. The concept of creating parking places to keep mobile phones at social functions was a unique initiative to promote social interactions.

Community Outreach and Impact

In 2022-2023, significant efforts were made to reach out to families across Bharat through various programs and events. The engagement of a large number of Kutumb Mitra and participants in camps and training sessions demonstrated widespread interest and participation.

In 2023-2024, the focus on quality engagement and transformative impact remained strong. Initiatives like Kutumb Mitra Milan and MatrishaktiSammelan strengthened community bonds and facilitated collective action towards societal well-being.

Overall, the evolution of Kutumb Prabodhan from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024 demonstrates a dynamic response to changing societal needs and challenges. The concept has evolved from primarily religious and cultural practices to encompass a holistic approach to family and community development, integrating traditional values with modern solutions. This evolution reflects a deep commitment to foster social harmony, promote individual well-being and collective growth of all sections of society.




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