Yoga enthusiasts in cities world-wide rolled out their mats in mass classes to celebrate the second International Yoga Day. United Nations General Assembly has declared 21st of June as an International Yoga Day.
This year, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi joined thousands of people in Chandigarh as they pulled their mats out for a massive demonstration. Prime Minister, dressed in a white-coloured t-shirt and trouser, along with a scarf, led the participants, including defence forces personnel and school children, for the second International Day of Yoga celebrations at the Capitol Complex amid tight security. A yoga enthusiast himself, he performed asanas along with the people at the event.
Over 30,000 people from all ages – 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana – performed yoga ‘asanas’ on pink and blue coloured mats during the event.
On this occasion, Prime Minister released a set of commemorative postal stamps showing the various steps of the “surya namaskar,” or sun salutation. These are different stamps depicting the different Asanas of Surya Namaskar.
Treatment of diabetes through yoga
Prime Minister pitched for treating diseases like diabetes through yoga. “I want to request trainers who are associated with yoga, from this public platform. From next year when we celebrate yoga day, in this one year, you continue to do what you do for yoga but focus on one subject and this is my subject – diabetes – Diabetes and yoga,” he said.
“All people belonging to the yoga field, whatever knowledge they have, they must continue with the rest of their yoga activities but this (diabetes) must be the main focus,” Modi said.
Expressing concern over the rising number of patients suffering from diabetes, Modi asked yoga trainers to help in controlling the disease. “In India, patients suffering from diabetes are rising. We might be able to get rid of this disease or not but with the help of yoga, diabetes can be controlled. Can we start a public campaign to suggest measures in yoga to the common man suffering from diabetes.”
“It will be an achievement if we can help in treating diabetes. From next year, we can take another disease. But I want that for good health, we should address any one disease every year. We should run a public campaign with an aim to address one disease,” he added.
Yoga is not only a way to get rid of a disease but it also guarantees wellness. For holistic development of lives, yoga is a great way, he said.
Two awards from Next Year
“India has given invaluable heritage to the world as we celebrate the second International Yoga Day. The world has accepted it in their way. Today from the Indian government side, I am going to announce two awards. Next year, when yoga day will be celebrated on June 21, then from India, there will be a selection for two awards,” Modi said.
“One at the international level for those putting in excellent work in the field of yoga and the second one for those working in the field within the country. One International Yoga Award and the second National Yoga Award,” he said.
After performing Yoga, the Prime Minister mingled with the people at the event, some of whom even took selfies with him. He also met handicapped participants during the event.
Defence forces personnel, ITBP personnel, Punjab Armed Police personnel, Punjab University students and school children were among the participants. Wearing blue and white coloured t-shirts and black trousers, the participants reached the venue early in the morning to perform yoga asanas at the mega event.
For the main event, the emphasis this year was on the participation of ‘Divyangs’ (handicapped persons), a term coined by Prime Minister Modi for the differently-abled. About 150 Divyangs were assisted in performing yoga ‘asanas’ at the Capitol Complex.
Elaborate arrangements had been put in place to ensure a smooth performance. The Capitol complex was divided into 8 blocks where 500 master trainers along with their team members performed asanas. Several LED screens were put up at the venue, where 300 bio-toilets and 30,000 mats had been put in place. Tight security arrangements were made with more than 5,000 police and paramilitary personnel keeping a vigil at the venue. Private vehicles were also barred from going near the venue.
Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who is also Union Territory Chandigarh’a Administrator, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar were among those present at the event.
Separately, about 10,000 people also performed yoga at over 100 other locations in Chandigarh itself. In national Capital, President Pranab Mukherjee conducted a Yoga class at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
World over, more than 173 countries joined the celebration. From Times Square in New York city to the Opera House in Sydney, celebrations for Yoga Day spanned the globe. Images of different Yoga postures were displayed at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York in the build up to Yoga Day. “Practicing yoga can help raise awareness of our role as consumers of the planet’s resources and as individuals with a duty to respect and live in peace with our neighbours,” said Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General.
– Vinod Kumar