Hyderabad: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Telangana collected approximately Rs. 189 crore for the constructions of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the functionaries of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Telangana, said.

"For the construction of the temple at the call of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Vishwa Hindu Parishad undertook a comprehensive drive to contact and collect 'Samarpan Nidhi'. In Telangana, 1.94 lakh Karyakartas covered 12,719 villages and contacted 68.59 lakh families," said Kacham Ramesh, the Prant Karyavah (state secretary) of the RSS.

A total of 20,64,622 volunteers, including 80,424 women, visited over five lakh villages and 12.42 crore families in the country for the Ram temple donation drive.

The RSS said that the amount collected is an approximate and the exact amount will be provided by Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust after the audit.

Expansion of RSS in Telangana

At present, the RSS has 2,789 Sakhas at 2,069 places in Telangana. The Sangh in the state is planning to have at least one Sakha in every upp mandal (consisting of six-seven villages) in the state.

"Before COVID-19, we had plans to expand to around 3,500 Sakhas in the state but due to the pandemic we had to stop the expansion and our social work to help the people. Slowly around 70 per cent of the Sakhas have started functioning in the state," said Nadimpalli Ayush, the media coordinator of RSS Telangana.

RSS and politics

On 20 March, Dattatreya Hosabale was elected as the Sar-Karyavah (general secretary) of the RSS. Hosabale, who was elected at the RSS's triennial Pratinidhi Sabha at Bengaluru on 20 March, replaces Suresh 'Bhaiyyaji' Joshi.

Mr. Hosabele now holds the second-highest office in the RSS, the ideological mothership of the Sangh Parivar and the ruling BJP.

The RSS functionary in Telangana welcomed the appointment saying that the Sar-Karyavah comes from a farmers' family and will lead the organization to its best.

In the last few years, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the political wing of the RSS, has grown in Telangana. With the Congress losing its ground, the Sangh-affiliated party has four Lok Sabha MPs from the state and during the recent GHMC elections, the party won more than 48 corporate seats. While many leaders are joining the BJP, cultural accommodation is one of the key issues for the saffron party as well as the Sangh.

"Culture accommodation is a BJP issue. The role of the Sangh is not political. For the cultural accommodation of political leaders, the BJP is conducting workshops and many of these leaders were in the Sangh," said Nadimpalli Ayush.

He further clarified that the Sangh has no membership while political parties require membership. "For instance, even TRS party leaders have come and donated for the Ram Mandir. The accommodation of political outfit in the BJP is well handled by the party," he added.

He also said that the RSS' work doesn't depend on politics and in fact, politics hampers its cause, politics create division. "We are working for the consolidation of Hindus and not for any political party. So for us, Hindu consolidation is our cause," added Nadimpalli Ayush.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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