Gujarat’s main Yoga Day event will be a two-hour programme (6 to 8 am) at the 50 lakh-square-foot GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad. Each of the 33 districts will have its own main programme, while various events at public gardens and school grounds will add up to 29,000 locations. Yoga events at these designated places, for 37 minutes from 7 am, will include prayer and meditation but not surya namaskar.
An education department official said they are targeting the entire student strength of 1 crore. He agreed participation is not mandatory but felt any absence would be an exception. Other government sources set a target for 1 crore participants across the state. According to a general resolution passed by the sports, youth and cultural affairs department, local bodies will rope in schools, colleges, NGOs and social organisations.
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CM Anandiben Patel, who will inaugurate the state-level programme, has launched yogaahmedabad.com, which claims to have registered 60,000 and expects 75,000. Ahmedabad collector Rajkumar Beniwal said, “Invitations will be sent to dignitaries including the governor and all religious groups irrespective of religion.”
Government sources said they plan to get 25 lakh people to perform yoga simultaneously from 6 am to 6.35 am. The main event will be held at Jaipur’s SMS stadium, with at least 10,000 expected. Health and Ayurveda Minister Rajendra Rathore, along with Chief Secretary C S Rajan, has taken stock of preparations by videoconferencing with all district collectors.
Ayurveda doctors are being trained in yoga for all 33 districts. “We have sent instructions to all district headquarters, panchayats and gram sabhas,” said Vinita Shrivastava, additional director, ayurveda. “No specific circulars have been sent out to schools since vacations are on. But we have instructed the education department to direct teaching staff and PT instructors to be present.” Teachers are trying to get students to turn up.
In his home state, yoga guru Ramdev conducted a training camp at Panchkula on June 15 and 16 for ministers, MLAs and MPs apart from senior officials. Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court too were invited for the camp, which involved trainers from Patanjali Yogpeeth.
The state’s main function will be held in Karnal, home constituency of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, where 21,000 people will perform yoga at one place while venues in other districts will have 2,100 each. Deputy commissioners have been asked to ensure participation, the target mostly students and government employees. Physical education teachers have taken training and are now coaching participants based on DVDs provided by the Centre. Three-day camps were held at tehsil and block levels and later at district headquarters, besides camps for sarpanchs and panchs in villages.
Punjab has two state-level functions, in Amritsar and Fazilka, besides awareness sessions in government offices and institutions at district and block levels. Heads of government departments have been asked to get the officers stationed at headquarters to join an event at Mohali’s Sports Complex. Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal will be in Amritsar, Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani in Fazilka. Deputy commissioners have been asked to hold functions at district, subdivision and block levels in collaboration with officers of the sports and youth services, school education, health, and rural development departments.
The government has announced Yoga Day will be celebrated in all 27 districts. Chief Minister Raman Singh will preside over the state-level event in the indoor stadium of Raipur. The government has put ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MPs, senior BJP leaders and zilla panchayat presidents in charge of all districts.
Reporting by Ritu Sharma, Mahim Pratap Singh, Khushboo Sandhu, Kanchan Vasdev , Ashutosh Bhardwaj