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HVK Archives: Priyanka's saffron burden: Vadra farm hosts RSS school,shakhas

Priyanka's saffron burden: Vadra farm hosts RSS school,shakhas - The Indian Express

Bhavna Vij ()
March 9, 1998

Title: Priyanka's saffron burden: Vadra farm hosts RSS school,shakhas
Author: Bhavna Vij
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: March 9, 1998

This is one connection Priyanka Gandhi will not be proud of The
Vadra family farm m Bagarpur, 12 km from Moradabad, hosts a
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-run school and occasional shakhas.

Sanjay Manu Vadera Farm, the favourite retreat of the Vadras, has
a tastefully done-up farm house, a swimming pool - and Saraswati
Shishu Mandir - a school run by the RSS. Om Prakash Vadera, the
family patriarch and the uncle of Robert Vadra, says he donated
the school to the RSS in 1995. "I am the permanent chairman of
the school," he adds.

(The family uses different spellings for their surname.)

Priyanka's father-in-law Rajendra Vadra is also associated with
the school. "Rajendraji is a regular visitor to the school and a
generous donor," says principal Naresh Kumar Singh, flipping
through an album of photographs of the Vaderas at school

An employee of the school says that even Priyanka had visited the
premises when she had come to the farmhouse before her marriage.

fter the wedding the Vaderas had organised a grand reception at
the farmhouse but Priyanka could not make it," he adds.

Among the photographs on the walls of Singh's office are that of
RSS founder Dr Keshav Rao Baliram Hegdewar, and Madhav Rao
Sadashiv Rao Golwarkar. Copies of Panchjanya, the RSS mouthpiece,
lie prominently on the principal's table. The school has on its
rolls around 270 children from nursery to class VIII from nearby
villages. All teachers are committed RSS workers.

In the evenings, the school premises once again come alive with
children gathering there for extracurricular activities.

"It is a chance for the Hindus to come together, play together
and think together," says Singh. RSS shakhas are sometimes held
in the school premises.

On other occasions, the children and neigh-bouring youth hold the
shakha at the Government primary school nearby. "If we hold
shakhas regularly in our own premises, the manicured grass and
the carefully tended flowers will be ruined. After all, it is not
always possible to keep the children away," says the principal.

The farm is named after the sons of Om Prakash who died in
separate accidents. "Both had got good education, having studied
in Sherwood, and both did not get timely first-aid following the
accidents. So I thought of starting a school and a hospital in
their memory," he says.

The land had been purchased in 1982. The hospital was
established in 1994, and the school a year later. "My purpose is
not to make profit. So I donated the school to RSS and the
hospital to Vivekananda Charitable Trust. But I am fully
involved in their working," says Vadera.

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