THE SECOND International Yoga Day in Gujarat witnessed an attempt at making Guinness World Records. There was more innovation put to use in selection of sites for participation that included Mount Girnar, Pavagadh hill, Taranga hill and some of the popular state temples like Sun Temple in Modhera, UNESCO’s Word Heritage site Rani ki vav in Patan and dams across the state.
The focus this year shifted from greater participation and awareness to innovations that ruled over celebrations across the state Tuesday.
In Rajkot, a group of pregnant women attempted a world record by performing prenatal yoga simultaneously, a similar attempt was made in Ahmedabad by the longest human chain of 8,650 students performing yoga.
More than 1,600 pregnant women attempted to enter Guinness Book of World Records by performing prenatal yoga simultaneously at hall of Swaminarayan Temple on Kalavad Road of the city. The event was organised by district administration and was supported by Rajkot Municipal Corporation and Rajkot district panchayat.
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Reacting to this attempt, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the participants, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel mentioned this feat, both by tweeting with event pictures. “I congratulate these women for embracing Yoga and joining the #IDY2016 celebrations. Very inspiring,” twkeeted Modi. While the CM mentioned, “Creating a world record, over 1600 pregnant women performed prenatal Yoga as part of #YogaDay celebrations at Rajkot.”
Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey said they were verifying the number of women who actually participated in the world record attempt. “We are verifying the number. There were more than 1,500 women in the hall. There were some others on the stage. So, the total number was around 1,700. We shall disqualify those who did not perform properly. Then we shall send data and video recording of the exercise to Guinness World Records for claiming an entry as the largest prenatal yoga class in the world,” Pandey told The Indian Express.
Incidentally, Pandey had successfully set a record by holding a yoga session on board 500 boats in River Narmada in Bharuch last year while celebrating the first International Yoga Day. The prenatal yoga class went on for 47 minutes and participant women were carrying pregnancy ranging from 12 weeks to 24 weeks. The collector said that they took help of around 140 gynaecologists to contact pregnant women in city and outskirts and seek their participation in the event. In all, 1,930 women had registered for taking part in the attempt to set the record.
The existing record is held by Dr Phoenixsun Maternity Hospital of China set by 913 pregnant women early this month.
Meanwhile, district administration of Junagadh held a yoga session at Ambaji temple on Mount Girnar to highlight the importance of the day. Minister of State for Science and Technology, Govind Patel led a yoga exercise on the premises of the famous Somnath Temple in Gir-Somnath district. Sailors of Indian Coast Guard and students performed yoga aasans on the ICG jetty at Veraval while fishermen also joined them by performing yoga on board their fishing trawlers. Naval training centre INS Valsura in Jamnagar also marked the day conducting a session of the yoga while Rajkot division of Western Railway too performed yoga on the occasion.
The state-level yoga day celebrations was organised at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad led by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Governor O P Kohli along with senior bureaucrats while Union Home Minister J P Nadda participated at Nikol’s yoga camp.
Against the number of 70,000 people expected to participate, going by the presence as compared to previous year, the number seemed to be lower, this time.
Also, some of the participants, majority students seated in last rows started leaving the venue mid-way. In addition to students including National Cadet Corps (NCC), a large number of religious organisations participated at GMDC ground. These included Patanjali, Art of Living, Lakulesh Yoga University, Adarsh organisation, Brahmakumaris, Isha Foundation and similar other organisations. The organisers revealed that expecting a larger participation as assured by these organisations, the number of NCC students was declined from 50,000 to only 10,000, this year. To offload this burden, students were diverted to Sabarmati Riverfront.
In Ahmedabad, Yoga Day celebrations was held at nearly 1,300 locations.