In Sanskrit, shakha means ‘branch’. As a branch of Sangh, each shakha seeks to promote the cause of Hindu Dharma (universal values), Sanskriti (culture) and Samaj (society) while accommodating the needs of the local community. Swayamsevaks (members) always interact in groups, promoting leadership, teamwork, and social skills.
By attending shakha regularly there is an opportunity to learn about one’s culture, religion and history through play and sport. But it is not all play, for there is discipline to be observed and various routines, rules and ethics which help to build character and confidence. Teamwork through a sense of fraternity is of primary importance.
The work of Sangh is carried out irrespective of caste, sect, language or status. Shakha gives an experience of an integrated and harmonious social life.
Minimum requirements for running a shakha are:
- The Prarthana is sung in front of the Bhagwa Dhwaj [Saffron Flag] which is regarded as the Guru. All are equal before the ’Guru’.
- A Karyakarta team which consists of a Karyawaha (Secretary), Mukhya Shikshak (Chief Instructor), Shareerik Pramukh, Bauddhik Pramukh, Sampark Pramukh and Sewa Pramukh.
- A well-balanced programme of shareerik and bauddhik activity is conducted which creates an atmosphere that helps to inculcate a sense of pride in Hindu identity and spirit of selfless service to the society.