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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Nov 24, 2016:: The unique 24×7 ‘Hindu helpline’ run by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has grown popular with the number of people approaching its call centres going up by 35 per cent in the last one year. Among other things, it also claims to respond to “complaints of cow slaughter, love jihad, attack on Hindus” and even “facilitating the Hindu pilgrims for Simhastha Parv or Amarnathji Yatra”.
About 60,000 volunteers are working across states to help people who approach the helpline for health/medical, travel, administrative/Govt, legal, religious/cultural purposes and general services like educational, developmental etc. Those in emergency – such as accidents or mass conversion to anti Hindu fold – can also seek help.
Rajesh Pandey, a small building material businessman of Allahabad had some complaints against alleged cow slaughter in his neighbourhood. He dialed the number of Hindu Helpline (HHL).
“They gave me three numbers of local activist for any help in the matter and they really helped a lot for the cause and we saved the cows from butchers” Singh told HENB. Cow slaughter – legal only in some Indian states such as Kerala, West Bengal and most parts of the Northeast – has been a major polarising issue as Muslims are involved in the beef trade.
National president of the facility, Ranjeet Natu, says the nature of the helpline is not agitational. “In such cases, we connect people to VHP leaders and workers. In cases, we also pass the information to the police. Our main focus is service,” he said. “Our volunteers help even if one has no problem but wants someone reliable around during shopping or sightseeing.”
The helpline was started in April 2011. Till date it has received 1.20 lakh calls of serious and urgent nature. The number for the last one year is 35,000 – up from 25,000 the year before. The numbers are 020-66803300, 075886 82181. These numbers are being controlled from Pune Maharashtra and keep liaison with VHP HHL sectoral offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Perumbavoor, Vadodara, Ujjain, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna, Kolkata and Guwahati. In five years VHP’s ‘Hindu helpline’ worked significantly for ‘Practical Hindutva’. In various places amidst Hindus in crisis, HHL proved the saying as “a friend in need, a friend indeed”.
“In India and abroad, billions of Hindus live, work, and travel and need support systems. Sometimes, they want to know about Hindu events – for example the exact muhurat for Mahashivraatri Abhishek. Some may want to know the ancient Hindu name of Swat Valley in Pakistan,” said an operator of the helpline.
Natu says in emergencies, this helpline plays the role of a reliable friend of Hindus. “We’re also running a subsidiary helpline in 15 cities with its call centre in Ahmedabad. In each city, we have 300-500 doctors who treat patients referred to by us free of cost. Our VHP health 150-200 ambassadors ensure that patients avail of government health schemes,” said Natu.
The helpline also responds to complaints of ‘harassment’ of Hindu girls, and ‘helps’ Hindu women married to Muslim husbands. Calls related to ‘forced conversions’ are also responded to. “Even we are now getting calls from Muslim women to help them in Talaq crisis”, says a HHL activist working in Mumbai sector.
Love jihad (fears of Muslim men marrying Hindu women to convert them) has been a major campaign of VHP, the Hindu religious wing of ruling BJP’s ideological parent RSS.
Launching the helpline in 2011, senior VHP leader and renowned Cancer Surgeon Dr Pravin Togadia had said the idea was to assist pilgrims in distress and reach out to the Hindus across states and abroad. But, in five years Hindu Helpline has been proved as a powerful tool for practical Hindu activism in the organisational sphere of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Dr Togadia hopes that Hindu Helplines will be able to spread up to the districts and even in sub-divisional level in the next five years. “We are contemplating to organise workshops in different parts of the country to train the Hindu Helpline Volunteers to deal with the job more efficiently”, Dr Togadia told HENB.
For the getting direct suggestion to set HHL in any locality interested persons can contact Dr Togadia at 098253 23406 (mobile Dr Togadia), firstname.lastname@example.org (email Dr Togadia)/ or contact at 020-66803300, 075886 82181 (LL and Mob of HHL)/ email@example.com (email HHL)/ @ (Twitter)/ https://www.facebook.com/togadia/ (Dr Togadia Facebook)/ https://www.facebook.com/HHL-Hindu-Help-Line-133768866764910/ (HHL Facebook).