CONSIDER this scenario. You are out on a picnic tour with your family. You are driving a car and suddenly the vehicle develops some snag and breaks down. You are in an unfamiliar region with no contacts for immediate help. You find yourself in a totally helpless and disheartened position. But don’t lose heart. Here is Hindu Helpline coming to your rescue within a very short time. All you have to do is to make a phone call at 020-66803300 or 07588682181 and explain your problem to the listener at the other end. Within minutes you get the required help and assistance and proceed on your further sojourn.
Looks like a wishful thinking or day-dreaming! But this is the reality. And the person who is to be credited for translating this near difficult dream into reality is none other than Dr Pravin Togadia, the General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) who is often coloured as fiery speaker, firebrand, and hard core Hindutva icon by the media.
Dr Togadia was in Nagpur on August 1, 2011 to inaugurate the Nagpur centre of Hindu Helpline. Explaining the idea in front of a selective gathering of Nagpurians at the Devi Ahalya Mandir auditorium, the VHP General Secretary said that this helpline will extend help to all the Hindus in distress anywhere, anytime and at anyplace within the country.
Elaborating the motive behind this unique concept of which he alone is the pioneer and guide, Dr Togadia stated that the Hindu society has forgotten its past glory, self-pride, and lost identity with Hindutva which is the national identity of Hindus. It has been replaced by petty interests like language, religion, state and other affinities which resulted in breaking and fragmenting the Hindu society further. Therefore, the society is not united and organised under the Hindu identity.
Secondly, the Hindus were ruled by foreigners—be it the Mughals or the British—for a very long period in the history. Even after the Independence the country never had a government which would restore its national Hindu identity in course of time. As a result it is almost next to impossible to experience the innate feeling of oneness and brotherhood among the members of the Hindu society in the present era.
The aim of launching this Hindu Helpline is to make every Hindu feel proud of his national identity; to make him believe that he is not left to fend himself in times of distress and difficulties; to foster the Hindu brotherhood and to manifest that brotherhood in actual action.
Dr Togadia said that with the availability of more means of fastest transport the number of Hindus travelling to various destinations has gone up to 20 crore per year. Even religious and holy places like Kashi attracts over four crore visitors from various parts of the country and devout Hindus visiting the famous Vaishnodevi Shrine in J &K amounts to 80 lakh per year. The Sabarimala Temple in down south fetches a whopping number of over two crore devotees annually. Besides, a number of people travel for business, religious and other purposes using various means of transport.
All these people need help of varied kinds and they look for someone in new places who can solve their problems. Hindu Helpline is one such attempt which will act as a facilitator between those who need help and who are ready to help.
The VHP has 850 districts in Bharat, and in every district there will be local convener of the Hindu Helpline, he added. Initially the Hindu Helpline will focus on five areas such as health (medical emergencies), travel (transportation, accommodation, help in case of vehicle breakdowns on the highways), any work related to government and administration, law and justice, and religious services.
A team of professionals managing the call centre at Pune would get into touch with the conveners of the specific areas from where they receive the call. “Within minutes those in distress would be contacted by the Helpline volunteers”, said Dr Togadia.
This Hindu Helpline was formally launched on Varsha Pratipada Day and so far 5,000 people including Editor of Rajasthan Patrika, a prominent Hindi daily of Rajasthan, have used and experienced the swift response of the VHP workers. The VHP has so far been able to raise a network of conveners of each district and a battery of 25,000 volunteers for the Hindu Helpline, he added.
Dr Togadia appealed to the members of the Hindu society to join this help line by becoming members of the board of advisors, volunteers, service providers, and also by listing as ‘Star member” of the Hindu Helpline.
Dr Hemant Jambhekar, Vidarbha Pradesh Vice-President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Prof Ajay Nildawar, Shri Subodh Acharya, and Shri Shrikant Aglave were prominently present. A number of people from all walks of life also attended the programme.