Bengaluru: With physical gatherings not allowed during the COVID-19 outbreak, the RSS is using technology to hold virtual gatherings of its volunteers and keep active its nearly 110 shakhas in the Aurangabad region of Maharashtra. No guidelines have been issued to have such online meetings, but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers are taking help of the technology to stay connected and interact with each other during the lockdown, Sangh's regional functionary Madhukar Jadhav told on Wednesday.

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"We have shakhas in various parts of the region which operated from playgrounds and open spaces where volunteers used to gather on a daily or weekly basis. After the lockdown was enforced, we began audio conferences around April 1," Jadhav said.

Later, video conferences were also started by shakhas as per the availability of internet and other facilities there, he said.

Virtual gatherings are now being held on a regular basis and various technological applications are helping to smoothly run around 110 shakhas in this region, he said.

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Also, a rise has been seen in the number of participants during the online meetings of shakhas as there is no need for volunteers to move anywhere. Besides regular volunteers, some members of their families are also participating in these virtual meetings, Jadhav said.

"Now, activities have changed a bit as meetings are not being held on playgrounds. Sitting exercises are practised, and lectures and discussions are held more," he said.