Poonam Singh

Bhubaneswar: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday took stock of the various activities undertaken by the organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and held discussions with its leaders on ways to ensure proper rehabilitation for the migrant workers who returned to their native places, sources said.

Several issues, including the crisis caused by COVID- 19, were discussed on the first day of the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal meeting of the RSS that kicked off in Bhubaneswar with Bhagwat reviewing the role played by the 'swayamsevaks' from the region in minimising the hardships of the people, sources said.

The meeting, scheduled to conclude on Thursday, is being attended by top functionaries of RSS from Odisha, West Bengal, Sikkim, besides Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

As many as 35 top office bearers from the region are participating in the meeting. This year the meetings are being held in the respective regions instead of a single gathering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During the day-long deliberations, Bhagwat patiently listened to the functionaries who gave a detailed account of the work done by the 'swayamsevaks' during the pandemic. The various welfare measures taken by our volunteers during the crisis were highlighted," a source said.

The meeting was informed about the sufferings of the migrant workers in different parts of the country during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, the sources said, adding that most of the migrants who returned to their native places following the loss of jobs faced uncertainties in their home states as well.

The meeting discussed ways and means of ensuring proper rehabilitation of the migrant workers by creating job opportunities for them, they said.

"The participants also examined how RSS can contribute towards lessening the hardship of the migrant workers in different parts of the country," another source said.

The functionaries also took note of the fact that various activities of RSS, including the holding of 'shakhas', were affected by the pandemic.

"The RSS chief, who took stock of the situation and heard the functionaries during the deliberations, is likely to make his remarks on the concluding day of the annual meeting on Thursday, the source said.

Issues relating to the education and healthcare during the pandemic also figured during the meeting, the sources said.

During the annual meeting, the RSS chief reviews the previous year's plan implementation, achievements and sharing of experiences.

Programmes, activities and training for the 'swayamsevaks' or volunteers for the next year will also be finalised in the meeting. Organisational activities such as plans for expansion and training of workers will also be discussed.

The RSS chief has no public engagement, meeting, or interaction during his visit as a precaution in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions. All deliberations are being held closed-door.

While the participants have undergone COVID-19 tests, precautions such as wearing of masks, social distancing and hygiene are being strictly followed during the event, the sources said.

(With PTI Inputs)