Marking the first International Day for Yoga in Gujarat, over 1.25 crore participants joined the event on Sunday at around 47,000 locations across the state.
At the main event at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad, presided by Governor O P Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, witnessed a gathering of over 75,000. Other major events in the city were organised at the Sabarmati Riverfront, Kankaria lake and CG road apart from schools and public gardens.
“It is very important to learn yoga and understand its significance in maintaining a healthy body and mind. I am going to ask all the state officers to take out time on every Sunday for yoga. They can contribute promoting yoga by learning it at their nearest public garden and community centre,” said the CM, while greeting the participants at GMDC ground on the International Yoga Day.
The event started at around 6.30 am with recorded speech of the Chief Minister and the Governor O P Kohli, where they talked about the origin and the relevance of yoga in modern day. A short video clip of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2014, where he proposed for an international yoga day, was also played.
Hundreds of trainers were also placed across the ground between participants who were divided into clusters. Also, nearly 3,000 students dressed in tri-colour performed the yoga.
Manish Bhardwaj, secretary of the department of sports, youth and cultural activities, actively involved in the preparations, said: “The event went ahead as planned at each district, taluka, mahanagar palika and nagar palika level. The target at each level has been met with overwhelming response at a few centres.”
Sharing the numbers, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, education minster and chairman of the organising committee, said: “The response was more than expected at each centre and location. The state has touched a participation of nearly 1.25 crore at all its 33 districts.”
He presided over the event organised at the Sabarmati Riverfront.
Many senior bureaucrats, a few MLAs, Ahmedabad mayor Meenaxi Patel, municipal commissioner D Thara, director general of police P C Thakur and other officials from various departments joined the main event at the GMDC ground.
The CM too participated them and performed yoga during the 33-minute session.
Representatives from various communities were also invited at the GMDC ground. Seated at a separate enclosure beside the main stage, the CM personally went up to them and extended her welcome to each of them.
These included leaders from various organisations, including Brahma Kumaris, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purshotam Sansthan (BAPS), Ram Krishna Math, Sai Baba Temple, Jagannath Temple, Jhulelal Temple, gurdwaras and church.
Calling namaaz an alternate to yoga as it also requires physical and spiritual well-being, Raisuddin Ahmed Khan, in-charge Mubalig, Muslim Jama at Ahmedabad, said, “ Yoga should be performed daily and not associated to a particular religion. Various communities should be made aware about its uses and we would certainly try in our own Muslim community that maximum people are benefitted from it.”
Sharing the views on benefits of yoga, chairman of Jhulelal Mandir in Ahmedabad’s Sardar Nagar area, Devidas N Punjabi, said, “We have started training people in yoga, especially women from our community. Since men are off to their business, there are special classes organised for women in the mornings and evenings.”