Limited representation of general public in the main event of International Yoga Day has left the city residents feeling left out, raising questions on the fairness of the selection process.
Around 30,000 participants are expected to take part in the one-hour event that will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of which there will be 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.
As per the list of participants prepared by the Chandigarh administration, a total of 3,600 participants are from schools, 1,000 from Panjab University (PU), 3,000 from armed forces and 800 trainers. Around 1,600 participants have been selected from the general public, who were regularly attending the training camps.
Terming the selection process an eyewash, Arvind Jain, president of Chandigarh Yoga Association, alleged that the administration has selected people known to the officials. “The selection process adopted was not transparent. No inspection of camps was carried out by the administration. They had just appointed booth-level officers (BLO) to take attendance,” rued Jain.
Around 45,000 city residents had enrolled for the yoga training camps held by the administration in various educational institutions, green belts, parks and public places. The administration had laid a condition that those who plan to take part in the main event will have to regularly attend and perform well at the one-month-long training camps. A large number of people were regularly attending the camps with the hope of getting selected for the main event.
Slamming the authorities, Arun, who was regularly attending the training camp at Bougainvillea Garden, Sector 10, said, “They just took our attendance. If they didn’t want the general public to participate, they shouldn’t have encouraged them to take part in the camps.”
Haridat, another regular at the camp, said, “If they were to select those who knew yoga, then we should have been selected. They have selected their known ones who has done yoga for a week or so only.”
Unhappy with the selection process, Madhu Sharma, employee of UT electricity department, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UT deputy commissioner complaining about the selection process.
“Only 6,500 residents were selected from Chandigarh whereas 20,000 participants — 10,000 each from Haryana and Punjab — were granted permission for without any selection,” said Madhu Sharma. Despite repeated attempts, UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi was not available for comments.
Full dress rehearsal
A one-day full dress rehearsal will be held in Chandigarh on June 19. All the participants, barring the Prime Minister, will be present for the rehearsals.
Around 30,000 participants are expected to take part in the main event that will be led by Modi, who will also address the gathering before kickstarting it on Tuesday.
SPG arrives in Chandigarh
The Special Protection Group (SPG) has arrived in the city to over see thesecurity arrangements being made for the event. A team of security personnel visited Capitol Complex and Punjab Raj Bhawan on Saturday.