Yoga enthusiasts and practitioners assembled in their thousands at the Yeshwant Stadium early Sunday morning to perform yogasanas in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the first ever International Yoga Day.
Attended by senior government officials, including collector Sachin Kurwe, Divisional Commissioner Anoop Kumar, Municipal Commissioner Shrawan Hardikar and Nagpur Improvement Trust chairman Shyam Vardhane, the programme saw noted playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar volunteering as activist of Janardan Swami Yogabhyasi mandal that had thousands of its followers performing yoga on the occasion. Members of the Art of Living group also took part in large numbers Mayor Pravin Datke and BJP MLAs from Nagpur Sudhakar Deshmukh, Krushna Khopde, Milind Mane and Sudhakar Kohale were also present.
Members of Muslim community including women were also seen performing the asanas Gadkari arrived later with wife Kanchan during the programme as he was delayed due to rains in Bhopal.
Those performing asanas included children less than 10 years of age to nonagenarian citizens. Women could be seen participating in equal numbers.
Later addressing mediapersons, Fadnavis said, “A scientific exercise, yoga has got following across the world. It not only gives freedom from tension, but also strengthens the power of the soul. I hope it becomes part and parcel of every individual’s life.”
No top RSS leader was in town, but yoga programme was held by Patanjali Sabha was held at Reshimbagh Ground in front of the sprawling Smruti Mandir premises of the RSS.
Fadnavis later performed yogasanas with the inmates of Nagpur Central Prison. He announced on the occasion that the State government will open accounts of all jail inmates under Jan Dhan yojana. He also distributed papers to five inmates in this connection. He also announced Prime Minister’s Suraksha Beema Yojana and Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana for jail inmates. He said that the premium will be paid by State government till the inmates remain in jail, according to a statement.