TUESDAY TURNED out to be a special day for a group of 14 jawans from the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Mohali, who had come to take part in the Second International Yoga Day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked into their block to interact with them.
The group of jawans, who have been left paralysed due to injuries suffered during operations, were among 150 differently abled participants invited to take part in the event. They all performed asanas on wheelchairs. Modi, after delivering his address, walked down the main stage and headed towards the enclosure where the paraplegic jawan were doing yoga. Taking them by surprise, the PM shook hands with them and interacted with each of them briefly.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, 36-year-old Vipin Thapa of Gorkha Regiment, said he was left speechless when PM came to see them. “I don’t have words to express my feelings. It was a nice gesture on part of our PM to spend some time with us,” said Thapa, who had suffered injuries during an operation in Leh in 2002. 24-year-old Deepandra, Indian Army Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, who sustained injuries in 2011, maintained that the PM encouraged them to stay motivated and do yoga regularly. Sashi Kumar (33), of armed regiment, said: “Not everyone gets an opportunity to talk to the PM and we consider ourselves lucky.” Spelling out the importance of yoga in their lives, Surinder Kumar (55) of armed regiment said that yoga has helped them stay positive in life.
“Yoga was introduced in Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in 2014. Captain (retired) Braj Paul Singh and Dr Archana impart training at the centre ,” he said. This year, the ministry of Ayush had laid emphasis on the participation of 150 Divyangs, youths and people from weaker sections of the society. They all had also taken part in full dress rehearsal held on June 19.
They all displayed great zeal and enthusiasm. Modi also interacted with other differently abled participants.