Fourth International Day of Yoga was celebrated world over on June 21 for Harmony and Peace and also to lead the world from Illness to Wellness
Dr Pramod Kumar from Dehradun
The roads and streets of Dehradun, the state Capital of Uttarakhand, perhaps never witnessed such a lively scene in early morning, as was visible on June 21. All roads of the city were seen leading to the historic Forest Research Institute (FRI) Ground. The people were so eager to be part of the 4th International Day of Yoga (IDY) that the entire FRI Ground was full to its capacity by 4.00 am. The traffic at Chakarata Road, where the FRI Ground is situated, was crawling between 3.00 to 3.45 am. The participants who came out from their houses after 3.00 am had to walk about three to four kms to reach the venue, as the police had blocked entry of vehicles following heavy rush on Chakarata Road. Even inside the Ground people had to walk about two kms to reach the main venue, where every participant had been earmarked a particular space. Despite that all the people had occupied their seats before 5.00 am. The participants included young, women, old age persons and even the children below five years of age. The school students were very much enthusiastic to be part of the event.
On June 19 also, about 50,000 people had assembled at the same venue and at the same time to join rehearsal. Apart from general public, the volunteers of over 160 social, religious and other organisations joined the IDY celebration. They included army jawans and volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Patanjali Yogpeeth, Gayatri Pariwar, Brahma Kumaris, Art of Living, many educational institutions, ONGC, Morarji Desai Yoga Institute, Parmarth Niketan, etc.
The rains in the evening of June 20 made the atmosphere more pleasing. The entire FRI Ground had been turned tricolour. The main stage was created in front of the FRI Building, but over 50 Plasma TV screens were installed in different sections so that the participants could have close view of the main stage and also the master practitioners whom they had to follow. The practice of Yoga began at 7.05 am and continued till 7.55 am. Beginning from simple yoga practices related to neck and body warming, the participants conducted practiced different yogasanas including Tadasana, Vrikshasan, Ardhachakrasan, Vajrasana, Rasakasan, etc in a complete relaxed manner. Director of Morarji Desai Yoga Institute Dr Ishwar V Basava Reddy led the yoga practice based on the common protocol prepared by the Ministry of Ayush for the event and daily practice. After a brief speech of about 20 minutes, the Prime Minister also joined the general public for Yogasan, Pranayama and Dhyan.
As Shri Narendra Modi along with Uttarakhand Governor Dr KK Paul, Ayush Minister Sripad Yesso Naik, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and State Health Minister Dr Harak Singh Rawat reached the venue at 6.30 am the FRI Ground was echoed with the slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vandemataram and Modi…Modi…. Modi…. Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat welcomed the PM with the rose oil produced in the state for the first time. Expressing gratitude on behalf of the people of the state for giving Uttarakhand an opportunity to host the IYD this year he described Yoga as an invaluable gift of India to the mankind. He said Atalji created and Modiji is nurturing the state. Shri Naik said the River of Yoga flows from the Devbhoomi Uttarakhand.
Addressing the gathering prior to the practice of yoga in Dehradun, Shri Modi said Yoga shows the world how to move from illness to wellness. “Yoga has become one of the most powerful unifying forces in the world. It not only reduces medical bills of a family, but also changes the mindset towards positive activities. It shows the way how to fight against various ills. It unites, assimilates, heals and restores the era of peace and happiness. It is a ray of hope for bright future for the conflict-ridden world. “It’s a proud moment for everyone that today, all over the world, people are welcoming the brightness and warmth of the sun with Yoga. From Dehradun to Dublin, from Shanghai to Chicago, and from Jakarta to Johannesburg, yoga is now spread everywhere,” he said adding that Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being.
He said Uttarakhand is the land where countless sages and people practised and strengthened yoga since centuries. Even today this land provides the best atmosphere due to greenery, pure air, natural beauty for the practice of Yoga. He said when the destructive forces dominate, the society witnesses divisions. But the yoga unites the hearts, minds and souls. We are the inheritors of the glorious traditions of Bharat and we should be proud of them. The entire world would move with us if we have trust on our time tested traditions, he added.
Apart from the main function held in Dehradun, grand functions were held across the country at the same time and those events were attended by various eminent personalities including the Union Ministers. According to reports, noted Yogaguru Baba Ramdev joined the function in Kota, Rajasthan. Similarly, MoS Dr Jitendra Singh was in Jammu, Commerce Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu was in Chennai, Union Minister of Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma was in Kolkata. MoS for Law and Justice Shri PP Chaudhary was in Ahemdabad. Union Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goel was in Noida. Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan joined the function at Rajpath in New Delhi. Union Home Minister was Lucknow, while Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh was in Narvana, Haryana. Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises Anant Geete was in Raigad, Maharashtra. MoS for Small Industries Giriraj Singh was in Nawada, Bihar and Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was in Ranchi. MoS HRD Upendra Kushwaha was in Hajipur, Bihar, while MoS for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir was in Hyderabad.
All the participants enrolled online. Till June 16, over 60,000 people had enrolled. Interestingly, majority of them turned to the ground. Since many people could not join the main function at FRI Ground, they were motivated to hold small functions in their localities. In this way, entire Dehradun and other big cities of the state joined the IDY celebration. All the participants were provided with a Yoga Day T Shirt, Mat to practice yoga and a water bottle. In the beginning of the event, they were informed to carry the mats with them at home and through the empty water bottles in dustbins. No participant forgot to carry the mat, but many did not throw the water bottles into dustbins. Head of Parmarth Niketan Swami Chidanand Saraswati, along with his disciplines, was seen collecting the empty water bottles from the Ground after event. This shows we still need to improve our civic sense.