On International Yoga Day on Wednesday, 600 schoolchildren from drought-prone regions of the state, of whom 250 were from families of farmers who had committed suicide, participated in a yoga session in Mumbai. They were joined by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta Fadnavis. Stressing the importance of yoga, Fadnavis said, “Since ancient times, yoga has been in practice for a healthy mind, body and life. Yoga gives us inner strength and self-confidence which can help override problems calmly and with patience.”
At 8 am, 600 children pursuing free education at the BJS Educational Institution in Wagoli, Pune, started a daylong yoga outing organised by Diyjas Foundation headed by Amruta Fadnavis at the National Sports Complex of India (NSCI), Mumbai.
Amruta joined the children, who followed fitness guru Mickey Mehta’s instructions on the yoga exercises. Children from drought-stricken districts of Vidarbha, Marathwada, parts of North and Western Maharashtra were seen competing with each other in doing difficult stretches and body bending exercises.
Shubham Tayade (15) left his village Hingna in Akola district to join BJS institute three years ago. His father Surendra Tayade had committed suicide, failing to repay a debt of Rs 1.5 lakh. The family owns three acres of land and cultivates cotton.
Deepak Laxman Kakde, a resident of Loni studying in Class 10, has moved ahead in life. “Yes, I am going to pursue higher studies and become a teacher,” he says.
From village Ranithamboli in Maleghat, Sanjay Jawaharlal Kasdekar is worried about his Class 10 board examination next year. Their five acres of land are the only source of income for the family of four in malnourished district of Maleghat.
Struck by tragedy at a young age, Sachin Jogle of Sangli still wonders what could have led his father to end his life. Drought was a recurring phenomenon in their village in Jat taluka of Western Maharashtra . “We had a Rs 2.5 lakh debt,” he says.
Young Sujit Mahale from Palghar district wants to become a pilot. Chaitanya Santaram wants to become an engineer.
Actor Jackie Shroff criss-crossed the rows in company of the children performing yoga. His humour often saw the children bursting into laughter ,that echoed loud in the auditorium.
Amruta Fadnavis, who hosted the children at Varsha last year, said, “We decided to commemorate the International Yoga Day with these children. They are extremely bright in studies and have displayed great strength. Yoga will help them further nurture their inner strength.”
The children were on a two-day tour to Mumbai. They also went around the city ,visiting the Nehru Planetarium, aquarium, Gateway of India among others.