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RSS changes shakha timing for Sunday’s Janta Curfew

To adhere to the Janta Curfew on Sunday to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will hold its meeting at local units before or after the restriction sets in.

RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi said in a statement on Saturday that keeping in mind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a public curfew on Sunday, shakhas will be held before 6.30 am or after 9.30 pm on Sunday.

“Volunteers can gather and pray in their area, locality or society as per their convenience,” Joshi said.

Shakhas are the local units where volunteers gather for exercises, prayer and other interactive events.

The Prime Minister had in his address to the nation asked people to stay off the roads and public places during the Janta Curfew, which will be in place for 14 hours from 7am to 9pm on Sunday.

“Today, I am seeking one more support from every citizen. It is Janta Curfew – a curfew for the people and imposed by people themselves,” PM Modi had said.

Also read: RSS calls off annual meeting amid coronavirus outbreak

The RSS had earlier called off the meeting of its highest decision-making body, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, last week after the government’s directions to cut down on large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus that is now a global pandemic.

According to an RSS functionary, instructions have been issued to all state units to follow the government guidelines to check the spread of the virus.

Since shakhas are held on a daily and weekly basis where volunteers congregate, the Sangh leadership has issued instructions to follow the norms of social distancing, said a functionary.

In some areas, district or state units have drawn up programmes to be followed on Sunday at all shakhas.

The RSS has also drawn up a two-week schedule for its volunteers to follow with a time table that begins with what families can do while following social distancing.

As per the schedule, households will have to carry out chores together while domestic help will be sent on paid leave.

To encourage male members to chip in, the schedule said, “Husband to prepare breakfast with guidance of wife. Children to make up the house by sending the servant/maid on paid leave for 2 weeks.”

The hourly time table also encouraged elders to “explain their family/ancestral background /history to the children of at least 3/4 generation’s. Family Ups and downs/difficult times, failures and success.”

Meditation, indoor games and discussions are also a part of the schedule.

“Rashtra chintan, know original history of our mother land, read biography of great social reforms, family debate, last but not the least Think What you can do for the Nation,” the schedule distributed to volunteers said.

The government said the number of Sars-Cov-2 cases in India rose to 258 on Saturday after 35 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country.

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