AROUND 35 Muslim girls will practise yoga at a training camp organised by a BJP leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on Monday — a day before the International Yoga Day. The girls would also chant ‘Om’ while practicing meditation.
The camp would be organised at Sai Institute of Rural Development (SIRA) — established in 2014 by Ajay Singh, who is associated with BJP’s information technology cell and the RSS. Singh’s grandfather was the Varanasi district president of Jan Sangh.
The Muslim girls are all students of SIRA, which receives financial assistance from the Centre for imparting training in embroidery and other crafts using software technology.
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“None of the girls or their family members have objected to institute’s initiative to teach yoga. Though Ramzan going on, I am still hopeful that most of the girls will take part in the camp on Monday,” said Singh.
While BJP’s IT Cell state convener Karunesh Sharma will preside over the camp, Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Javed — the recently appointed member of Central Haj Committee and a local — will be the chief guest. A doctor would also be present at the session.
Sabina Bano, a BEd student, would train the girls free of cost. Bano, who had learned yoga while pursuing graduation from Arya Mahila PG College in 2013, said: “As Ramzan is on, the girls will be fasting. They will be taught selected aasanas, including Surya Namaskar, so that they feel minimum exhaustion.”
She added: “These girls have been told that yoga has no association with any religion or community. Likewise, chanting of ‘Om’ during meditation is like offering a routine prayer. They are convinced.”