Yoga enthusiasts in Delhi, including the elderly with health disorders, have expressed serious concerns over the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee’s order to seal of all fitness centres, gyms, and yoga and meditation centres which opened after August 12, 2008.
For 60-year-old heart patient Amrita Arora, who has been doing yoga for the past six years, closing down her local yoga centre means she would struggle controlling her blood pressure.
“Every morning, from 6 to 8 am, I did yoga at Spandan yoga centre in Kalkaji. Yoga helped me to stay fit with normalising my pressure, sugar level. The court’s order is quite unwelcoming to many people as it will snatch their right to stay healthy,” she said.
Another resident of Kalkaji, Samantak Banerjee said she fears Yoga membership rates would spike as there wouldn’t be any competition.
“I am a diabetes patient, and every day I need to do asanas like Baddha Konasana, Dhanurasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Balasana to keep me healthy. Apart from it, I need 15 minutes of meditation and ayurvedic treatment. The decision is quite unwelcoming, as, with sans competition, the rates in Yoga centres will hike,” Banerjee said.
Yoga received a boost after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, when he proposed the idea of International Yoga Day in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
Delhi,according to an MCD official, has over 10,000 yoga centres which were constructed post-2008. “The municipal corporation has started notifying the yoga, fitness centres, gyms to vacate their property before October 18,” the MCD official said.
Senior citizen associations in Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) are planning to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the sealing issue. “It is our Prime Minister who made us learn the process of staying fit through Yogas, so we are planning to send him a letter, as the court’s decisions put everyone in a helpless situation,” said Amitava Guha Thakurta, a member of the associations.
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Meanwhile, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri Monday assured that gyms will be accommodated in the new Master Plan for Delhi, which is under deliberation at the moment. At a public event, Puri said: “We will change the master plan of Delhi to accommodate gyms; won’t allow for the encroachment of land.”
Brijesh Goyal, national convenor of the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), had written to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs asking for an extension of the deadline.
The Traders said the monitoring committee’s order goes against the Prime Minister’s promotion of yoga at international levels and the ‘Fit India’ movement. “We expect that the DDA will give us relief because shutting these centres goes against the PM’s vision too,” said Brijesh Goyal, national convenor of the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI).
The owner and yoga trainer of Anand Yoga in Karol Bagh, Mahua Aich Ghosh said, “They asked us to close the institute without giving an option to shift. With a lakh investment where we will go before Diwali.”
“The decision also put careers of lots of entrepreneurs and yoga trainers at stake as they have to shift their profession or to move in other cities for jobs and opportunities,” said 26-year-old entrepreneur.