Covid-19 forces RSS  to shut shakhas, practice social distancing

The organization says its relief efforts are on, but it is following all safety norms laid down by the Centre


A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the country on imposing a 21-day lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) shut its shakhas (daily units) where volunteers come together for prayers and other activities, reported the Hindustan Times.

In his address to the cadres, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, “In these unprecedented times, when the entire world is grappling with the pandemic, volunteers must ensure that they do not break the protocols announced by the government.”

Stressing on the importance of social distancing he said, “Medicines and other essential items are there, but to break the chain of spread we need to make social distancing a success. It is the responsibility of society, it is the duty of the Sangh to stick to discipline and we have to follow this as well.”

He said that in the wake of the pandemic, volunteers of the RSS were duty bound to contribute to the steps taken to control its transmission to the community. He suggested that prayers could be held at home in smaller groups of five to seven people. Bhagwat said, “We have to continue our work, but also stick to the rules. In the past, shakhas were closed for two years, but work went on. The 21-day lockdown has to be adhered to and our work can also go on.” He added, “In such unprecedented times, we can do this. We will adhere to the steps being taken by the administration in the fight against the pandemic,.”

Bhagwat also mentioned that RSS volunteers were already stepping up to help the government in relief work by helping to distribute masks and food to the needy and also help in cleaning up hospitals.

“It may be possible that we will be required to scale up our efforts; whatever is required wherever, will be done in keeping with the rules,” Bhagwat told the cadre members.

RSS General Secretary, Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi too echoed Bhagwat’s sentiment, urging members of the organization to step-up relief efforts, but make sure to not overlook norms laid down by the government.



In light of the coronavirus epidemic, the RSS had cancelled its Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), the highest decision making body three-day meet in Bengaluru to be held from March 15 – March 17 where it was set to discuss various issues including the roadmap for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.


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