Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of expanding the job market through yoga on the third International Yoga Day, the chances of getting a job for the 20,000-odd members of the Federation of Unemployed Trained Yoga Instructors remain grim in Uttara-khand.
Uttarakhand is a yoga hub with Rishikesh being the self-styled “yoga capital of the world”. However, unemployed instructors claim that the yoga business in Uttarakhand benefits only a few. “We have been protesting since 2005. The protests have grown since 2014. We have been lathicharged by the police in the past. Many members of our federation have been put behind bars several times but nothing has been achieved in all these years as far as job creation is concerned,” the federation’s Uttarakhand president, Rakesh Semwal, said.
The federation members are either diploma holders or degree holders in yoga. However, most of them now give private yoga classes. “I have a PhD in yoga, even then I have no job. Many of us earn just about Rs 3,000 to 5,000 a month by giving private classes,” Semwal said.
Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj had recently said that the state would soon develop several yoga centres across Uttarakhand, but unfulfilled promises by earlier governments has led to apprehensions among the unemployed instructors. “During the Harish Rawat government, at least 800 vacancies for yoga teachers were announced but no government order was issued for it,” Vijaypal Rawat, the federation’s former president, said.