Prime Minister Narendra Modi today joined millions across the country in bending and stretching for asanas to mark the second International Yoga Day, which he said has become a “jan andolan” or people’s movement since it started last year.
Here are the latest updates:
1. The Prime Minister, wearing a white T-shirt and track pants with a scarf, walked around surveying people performing asanas before settling down on a mat and joining them at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh.
2. Urging people to embrace yoga like they have taken to the mobile phone, PM Modi said it “gives us health assurance at zero budget”.
3. PM Modi also stressed that yoga is “not a religious practice” and should not be dragged into controversy.
4. The Prime Minister announced two awards for those working to popularize yoga, in India and abroad.
5. In Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee made an early start to the Yoga Day with a session at Rashtrapati Bhavan where around 1,000 people took part.
6. Across the country, 57 ministers – including union ministers Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Smriti Irani – led sessions. The Home Minister braved the rain in Lucknow as he led a yoga event.
7. Ministers also attended a three-hour rehearsal led by yoga guru Ramdev at New Delhi’s Rajpath on Sunday. Ramdev led a yoga camp in Faridabad near Delhi today, in which a record 100,000 participated.
8. Ahead of the big day, multiple preparatory events were held across the US, UK and Australia. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says the International Yoga Day is being celebrated in 191 countries.
9. The United Nations headquarters were illuminated yesterday with striking images of yoga postures while hundreds gathered at Times Square in New York City to practise yoga.
10. Functions across the world were held for the first time last year after June 21 was named the International Yoga Day by the United Nations. The resolution, proposed by PM Modi, was adopted by 177 nations without a vote.