The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) plans to run about 300 workshops known as ‘Sanskar Shala’ in three districts of Kashi Prant — Prayagraj, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra.
The purpose of this is to check conversion and apprise the deprived children of the rich cultural heritage, lives of great men and martyrs, tradition and values, Yoga and morals.
The VHP has already started Sanksar Shalas at 24 locations in Prayagraj district in the first phase under which volunteers of ‘Durga Vahini’ or women teachers are taking two-hour special classes for slum children to educate them.
These Sanskar Shalas are mostly named after great personalities like Swami Vivekanand, Maharishi Valmiki, Sant Ravidas, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Swami Daya Shankar Saraswati, Savitribai Phule, besides Gauri Shankar, Shri Krishna, Maa Saraswati, Maa Ganga, Triveni, and Gyan Jyoti.
VHP’s Kashi Prant Prachar Pramukh, Ashwani Mishra told reporters: “The idea of starting Sanskar Shala was first conceptualised after witnessing religious conversion in many ‘Adivasi’ pockets of Banswara district in Rajasthan.”
The right wing organisation managed to check religious conversion effectively through more than 5,000 such workshops in Adivasi-populated areas, after which the concept was adopted in east Uttar Pradesh’s select districts, including Prayagraj, to check religious conversion.
Mishra revealed that women volunteers of Durga Vahini and other frontal organisations were imparted training to set up Sanskar Shalas during the recently concluded ‘Magh Mela’ in Prayagraj. They were asked to connect with children living in slums, encourage them to attend Sanskar Shala and learn about rich heritage, festivals, Yoga, etc.
“The main aim behind starting Sanskar Shalas is to spread Sanatan culture,” he added.
In each Sanskar Shala, Durga Vahini volunteers have to teach 20 to 25 children aged between four and 14 years for two hours.
Moreover, VHP in association with Ashok Singhal Memorial Trust, Mumbai, is soon going to start special clinics in slums where allopathic, ayurvedic and homeopathic doctors will examine and treat patients.
Besides, there are also plans to start imparting free computer education to youth and train women in stitching and sewing to generate self-employment in slums.