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Durga Vahini: A self-Defense Program for Hindu Women in India

A subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)

Durga Vahini is the female counterpart of the Bajrang Dal, a subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which was established in 1991. The founding Chairperson of Durga Vahini is Sadhvi Rithambara. Women between the ages of 18 and 35 are allowed to join this camp and trained.

 Know more about Durga Vahini-

  • Set up by a Hindu organisation VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council) in 1984-85.
  • Women aged 18 to 35 years are eligible to join the group.
  • The organization’s website describes it as a “dynamic voluntary organisation” of young Hindu women.
  • It says the organisation “strives for the security of society” and imparts knowledge of culture and tradition.
  • Every member is expected to exercise regularly for “increasing her physical stamina” and to read “good literature”.
  • The group says it “ensures rehabilitation” of widows, women who have been deserted by their husbands, or women “involved in accidents”.
  • Training camps of 15-20 days are organised for members in all states.
  • The group runs vocational training and tailoring centres and blood donation camps, among other things.
  • Members are also trained in “dagger wielding” and use of firearms, according to the website. ( Source: BBC news)
  • Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com
    Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com

In India, thousands of youths have joined Bajrangi Dal. For girls who want to join such organisation, VHP founded an independent organisation of Hindu Yuwatis (Women) in the name of Durga Vahini on Ashwin Shukla Ashtami (Durga-Ashtami).

Durga Vahini stresses the Service, Security and Sanskars while working in the society —

  • Sewa- Durga Vahini run several service centres like Tailoring centres, vocational courses etc. in different places of the country. The Women uninhabited by her in-laws and widows are mostly among the women who join Durga Vahini. Aid to service projects/activities, hostels, orphanages etc. working in the Sewa Bastis is being acquired through the medium of Free Tution, Dan-Patra, Mushti-Dan Scheme etc. Ror rendering service to humanity, Durga Vahini also holds Blood Donation Camps, Blood Group Determination Camps etc.
  • Suraksha- During the course of this training, practice is being made of physical education, Yog and Niyuddha together with Chhurika (dagger wielding) Gun (firing) etc.
  • Sanskar- Sourya Prashikshan Vargas are conducted for 6 to 15 days in almost all the provinces of the country. Apart from these, a two-days Abhyas Vargas also are organised on divisional and district levels. The Durgas are trained to live a disciplined and Susanskarit (well-cultured) life.

-prepared by Pashchiema (with inputs from BBC news and vhp.org), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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