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PREFACE

RASHTRA SEVIKA SAMITI -A RESUME OF ACTIVITIES

Rashtra Sevika Samiti is a unique, Akhil Bharateeya cultural organisation of Hindu women. It is generally taken for granted that women should normally look after their home and children only. The implied meaning of home and children has lost its relevance to social and national context. The necessity of some arrangement to revive it was expressly felt.


Social Background

Due to constant foreign invasions and subsequent foreign rule, the sense of devotion and dedication to our nation decreased, our tradition of regarding Bharat as our Mother gradually faded. We also forgot our origin and divine identity. A person born Hindu started feeling inferior and awkward to introduce and identify himself as Hindu. Self respect and patriotism has been eclipsed by the separatist mentality, selfishness and self centredness. When such a state prevails, it is very difficult for the nation to survive for a long time. Presently the problem of our existence has become very acute. It is incumbent on us to safeguard and promote the sense of Hindutwa for our dignified existence.

Vandaneeya Smt. Laxmibai alias Mausiji Kelkar felt the pinch and decided to infuse this thought and feeling among the women. She also observed that the progress and prosperity of a nation cannot be complete, unless the women of the land, who happen to form half the nation, are trained in that way. She studied the situation, thought over the problem and came to the conclusion that women who are the creators and moulders of the nation should come forward and shoulder the responsibility. With this view in mind, she met Pujaneeya Doctor Hedgewar who was already busy in organising the Hindu youths through Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Both the genii discussed the matter from every angle. Vandaneeya Mausiji convinced the urgency of the task and Rashtra Sevika Samiti came into existence as an independent cultural organisation of Hindu women. It was the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami of 1936. P. P. Doctorji was very much emphatic about the independent and parallel nature of the working of these two Hindu organisations.

Being a vital part of the nation the field of activities of women is different and peculiarly important than that of men. Woman is a common bond of affection and attachment in a family, in her capacity as a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. The family, society automatically becomes weak and feeble, when this bond looses its grip and power. It is, therefore, utterly necessary to make women strong physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually also, so that she can get correct and coordinating outlook regarding her duties towards the family and society and create a deep sense of devotion and pride for nation, religion and culture. With this motive in mind Rashtra Sevika Samiti started functioning.


Principles and Guide LinesA

Samiti firmly believes that Hindus form the national mainstream of this land and are responsible for the overall progress of Hindusthan, their beloved motherland inspired by the traditions, having their origin in the Vedas, the traditions honoured and glorified by Shree Ram and Shree Krishna, Rana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Swami Vivekananda a real Hindu identifies himself with the glory and the gloom of Bharat, takes pride in being a child of Bharatmata and is ready to surrender everything at her altar voluntarily and pleasingly He feels dignified in introducing himself as Hindu. To promote this thought and emotion regarding Hindutwa, is the main aim of the Samiti.

Bhagawad dhwaja, a symbol of our ancient glorious Sanskriti, is a point of honour of our country. Rashtra Sevika Samiti regards this Dhwaja as its Guru and has a firm faith that our honour, pride and our values of life can be safeguarded only by putting into practice the ideals, the dhwaja denotes.

Anushasan (self imposed discipline) is one of the strongholds of any organisation. Samiti Sevikas are very particular in this respect. Anushasan in Samiti is not a self centred dictatorship but has a family touch. They regard Pramukha, Sanchalika as the head of this big family and willingly accept the rules and orders as a sacred bond of love necessary for the smooth running of the organisation. That is Ekchalikanuvartitva.

Samiti has also enunciated the theory that the women are the foundation pillars of the nation taking into account their capacity to mould the family in either way. Samiti worships Goddess Ashtabhuja which is an integral combination of Mahakali, Mahasaraswati and Mahalaxmi. Co-ordination of Strength, Intellect and Wealth elevates the nation to a higher plane. The weapons in all the eight hands symbolise the qualities, necessary for an ideal Hindu woman. She takes inspiration from Her and exerts for just cause and service to humanity.

Enlightened motherhood is a cherished ideal of Hindu woman. Jijabai trained her son Shivaji and his tribal friends for fighting with the foreign rulers to make this country independent. She had a definite aim of establishing Hindu Sovereignty by organising the various constituents of Hindu Society. A Hindu woman is an eternal mother a symbol of love, sacrifice, dedication, fearlessness, sanctity and devotion. The tenderhearted woman becomes bold and aggressive if time demands. Inherent qualities of leadership as well as chastity of character were clearly predominent in Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. Her boldness, patriotism, qualities of generalship were highly appreciated by all foreigners although they were her rivals. Rani Laxmibai while escaping from besieged, turned back and fought successfully with British soldiers who attacked her friend. Finding herself helpless, she requested Gangadas Baba to set on fire the hut which she occupied, as she did not desire to be molested by the foreigners. Devi Ahalyabai Holkar, the Queen of Indore (Madhya Bharat) has set an excellent example of efficient administration. Her contribution to encourage free trade and the concept of welfare state is very admirable. Her practices for maintaining integral nationality, her impartial justice, were very effective. She led a very simple and selfless life, not utilising a single pie from the royal treasury for her personal use. Motherhood, leadership and efficient administration are the qualities to be followed from these great lives.

Rashtra Sevika Samiti celebrates birth and death anniversaries of many such great women of Bharat to get inspiration from them.

Nature and mode of work Daily Shakhas Just as regular diet and exercise are required for good health, regular Sanskaras are necessary for building up a healthy national character. In addition to the organisational capacity, mutual love, affection, good will, faith, healthy character-building, co-ordination and a feeling of oneness can be created by regular sanskaras. Resultantly Samiti has stressed for daily shakhas. Physical training is imported with the motive to make all sevikas of all age groups, healthy, strong enough to protect themselves, self dependent and capable of using discretionary power and presence of mind. This self implies not only the individual self but also family, society, nation, religion and culture. Boldness to face any situation, vigour, daring, pure character, patriotism etc. automatically evolved through shakha procedure.

A sound mind dwells in a sound body. Intellectual development is a result of various such programmes arranged in daily Shakhas Sevikas become fully aware of the present and past of the country, being well versed in the glorious culture and tradition of Bharat. Elderly women and housewives who cannot attend daily evening Shakhas conduct weekly Shakhas. The programmes are arranged in a befitting way.


Various ActivitiesA

Sometimes handicraft classes, discourses on Ramayan and Maha Bharat, Geeta, Bhagwat etc. are also arranged. Samiti has also patronised music, arts, literature, which help healthy development of personalities. Samiti also celebrates Sharadotsava, Vasantotsava, Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Durga Navaratri etc. Taking into account the impact potential of visual medium, Samiti has arranged a lot of picture exhibitions on various vital subjects and inspiring lives like Shri Ram, Swami Vivekananda, Rani Laxmibai, Chhatrapati Shivaji and so on. This encourages social consciousness and presents the correct perspective of life. Sevika Prakashan was established in 1953. Rashtra Sevika annual number is published in Hindi, Marathi and Gujrathi from Mathura, Nagpur and Bhavnagar respectively. Some books and biographies, Vandaneeya Mausiji's Lectures on Ramayana have been published until now.


Festivals

Samiti celebrates five national festivals to remind us of glorious past with its relevance to the present.

  1. Varsha Pratipada Yugadi Chaitra Shukta. The first day of Samvat and Shalivahan Shaka. A memory of complete victory over Shakas and Huns the foreign invaders.

  2. Guru Purnima Ashadha Purnima We offer Puja to our Guru, Bhagawad dhwaja and respectfully and voluntarily offer Gurudakshina as a token of our dedication to our source of vital cultural inspiration.

  3. Rakshabandhan Shravan Purnima We are anxious to encourage the feeling of brotherhood amongst all the Hindus to organise them as one integrated nation. Samiti sends Rakhi to maximum persons, institutions and organisations. Rakhi is tied to Dhwaja also to remind us of our duty and responsibility to uphold the values of life which our Dhwaja represents. Instead of expecting and depending on others for our protection we must also stand to protect all that is best required for our nation.

  4. Vijaya Dashmi Ashwin Shukla 10, Celebration of victory of Ma Durga over the Asuras a Symbol of all evil and unruly elements in the society. Ma Durga is symbolised as mother power. All women should stand boldly and unitedly to eliminate all low trends which are detrimental to social equilibrium. Spiritually it also denotes victory of Atman over the evil tendencies. It is the day on which Samiti came into existence.

  5. Makarsankraman A mark of love and friendship encouraging us to increase our capacity to work. Sweet words are uniting force. It is a massage to work hard to achieve our ideals and widen the circumference of our narrow individuality.

In order to visualise the Akhil Bharatiya nature of the organisation, Samiti arranges Akhil Bharatiya congregations after every three years. The sevikas from all the states come together, get inspired, after living together, to devote more and more time for Samiti work.

Exhaustive camps in summer vacations and refresher camps in winter holidays are conducted to train the sevikas, so that they can acquire the capacity to hold such training camps independently, in all the states, to ensure a constant chain of dedicated workers.

Samiti has spontaneously and sincerely contributed to maximum capacity in all times of national distresses due to vagaries of nature and other exigencies in any region of the country.

In educational field, Samiti has stepped in through Grihini Vidyalaya, Bombay, in 1953. Now a plan of reorganising woman education with the object of giving sufficient scope for development of her inherent qualities is being drafted. Some training camps for teachers on experimental basis are designed to be conducted.

Bhajan Mandals, Tutorial classes for slum areas. Charitable dispensaries, Udyog Mandirs, Cottage industries, Hostels for college as well as vanavasi (tribals) girls, Yogasana classes. Well equipped libraries, Pujarites training classes and many such side activities are sponsored by Samiti.

Being fully aware of its role in nation building, Rashtra Sevika Samiti is marching resolutely offering itc contribution in each and every phase of the renaissance of the great Hindu Nation.


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