In two states ruled by the BJP, the chief ministers are leading the celebrations from the front. Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will perform yoga with 21,000 others at Janardhan Swami Yogabhyasi Mandal at Nagpur’s Yashwant Stadium from 6.15 to 8 am, said mayor Pravin Datke. And in Madhya Pradesh, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a yoga enthusiast, made it compulsory for ministers to attend a two-day training programme at his residence recently. He will be at the main event at Lal Parade ground.
Across Maharashtra, colleges have been asked to stay open although it is not mandatory. A circular has been sent to 3,350 colleges, said Dhanraj Mane, director of higher education. Universities have uploaded a UGC circular asking colleges to celebrate in a “befitting manner” and invite experts for a demonstration, with prizes on offer.
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The school education department has issued a circular on asanas to be taught during a 33-minute session. “See, it is voluntary, so we cannot issue any other instructions regarding compulsory attendance,” deputy director of primary education Mahavir Mane said. Private schools seemed unaware of any circulars but Kendriya Vidyalaya teachers have been asked to attend the morning drill.
Dr Satish Pawar, director of health, has issued instructions to health facilities at various government levels to organise camps.
In MP, where the government holds mass surya namaskar in schools every year, instructions for Yoga Day have gone out to commissioners, collectors and panchayat CEOs. Collectors, SDOs and sarpanchs will supervise events at various levels.
For the Bhopal event from 7 to 7:37 am, practice sessions have begun and instructions given to engage government-trained teachers and private organisations; private instructors will not be paid. The government has said elected representatives, government employees, students of Class VII to Class XII and colleges, NCC cadets, police personnel, NGO members and the public can attend but participation is not compulsory. The school education department is the nodal agency.