Modi leads second International Yoga Day celebrations

Last Updated : 21 June 2016, 07:54 IST

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today joined over 30,000 people here for the second International Yoga Day celebrations as he pitched for treating diseases like diabetes through the ancient spiritual discipline.

Modi, dressed in a white-coloured t-shirt and trouser along with a scarf, led over 30,000 participants, including defence forces personnel and school children, for the second International Day of Yoga celebrations here at the Capitol Complex amid tight security.

The Prime Minister, who arrived here last night, participated in a mass demonstration of 'Common Yoga Protocol'. A yoga enthusiast himself, he performed yoga 'asanas' along with the people at the event.

Over 30,000 people from all ages -- 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana -- performed yoga 'asanas' on pink and blue coloured mats during the event. Separately, about 10,000 people also performed yoga at over 100 other locations in Chandigarh itself.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Modi pitched for treating diabetes through yoga.

"I want to request trainers who are associated with yoga, from this public platform. From next year when we celebrate yoga day, in this one year, you continue to do what you do for yoga but focus on one subject and this is my subject -- diabetes -- Diabetes and yoga," he said.

"All people belonging to the yoga field, whatever knowledge they have, they must continue with the rest of their yoga activities but this (diabetes) must be the main focus," Modi said.

Expressing concern over rising number of patients suffering from diabetes, Modi asked yoga trainers to help in controlling the disease.

"In India, patients suffering from diabetes are rising. We might be able to get rid of this disease or not but with the help of yoga, diabetes can be controlled. Can we start a public campaign to suggest measures in yoga to the common man suffering from diabetes.

"It will be an achievement if we can help in treating diabetes. From next year, we can take another disease. But I want that for good health, we should address any one disease every year. We should run a public campaign with an aim to address one disease," he said.

Yoga is not only a way to get rid of a disease but it also guarantees wellness. For holistic development of lives, yoga is a great way, he said.
"India has given invaluable heritage to the world as we celebrate the second International Yoga Day. The world has accepted it in their way. Today from Indian government side, I am going to announce two awards. Next year, when yoga day will be celebrated on June 21, then from India, there will be a selection for two awards," Modi said.

"One at the international level for those putting in excellent work in the field of yoga and the second one for those working in the field within the country. One International Yoga Award and the second National Yoga Award," he said.

After performing Yoga, the Prime Minister mingled with the people at the event, some of whom even took selfies with him. He also met handicapped participants during the event.

Defence forces personnel, ITBP personnel, Punjab Armed Police personnel, Punjab University students and school children were among the participants.

Wearing blue and white coloured t-shirts and black trousers, the participants reached the venue early in the morning to perform yoga asanas at the mega event.

For the main event, the emphasis this year was on the participation of 'Divyangs' (handicapped persons), a term coined by Prime Minister Modi for the differently-abled.

About 150 Divyangs were assisted in performing yoga 'asanas' at the Capitol Complex.

Elaborate arrangements had been put in place to ensure a smooth performance, officials said.

The Capitol complex was divided into 8 blocks where 500 master trainers along with their team members performed asanas.

Several LED screens were put up at the venue, where 300 bio-toilets and 30,000 mats had been put in place.

Tight security arrangements were made with more than 5,000 police and paramilitary personnel keeping a vigil at the venue. Private vehicles were also barred from going near the venue.

Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who is also Union Territory Chandigarh'a Administrator, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar were among those present at the event.
The Prime Minister stressed that yoga was not about taking or receiving but about a healthy body.

"Sometimes, people cannot understand it (Yoga) fully because of their lesser ability to understand it. This science is not for taking and receiving. Yoga is not for what one gets, yoga is what I can give and how I can get relief from different things, it is way to get mukti (salvation).

"All religions, communities etc. emphasise on what we will get after death in parlok (heaven). They say if you pray this way, then you will get this thing in parlok. Yoga is not for parlok," he said.

The Prime Minister said yoga is a science for life and not a religious activity.

"It is not a religious activity. How will you get peace in your mind, how will you get healthy body, how unity remains in society, it gives power in that direction. Yoga is not a science for parlok. It is a science for this life," he said.

"Therefore, Yoga gives training to help body, mind, intelligence, spirit working in a synchronrised way. If we see ourselves, if we walk or not, we may be alert or lazy, our body can be anything. But our mann (mind) can never be stable," Modi said.

The Prime Minister said countries like India can save on their healht budget by adopting preventive healthcare measures like yoga.

"Therefore, it is necessary to connect Yoga with life.I request all people, to know yourself, to increase your capability, do not wait and make Yoga part of your life. The way mobile has become part of everyday life, you can make yoga part of your life easily. It is not a difficult job," he said.

"There is no health insurance in world with zero budget. But yoga provides health assurance in zero budget. Yoga does not understand difference between rich and poor, intelligent and illiterate, even poorest of poor and richest of rich can perform yoga easily," he said.

"Mind is unstable and body is stable. It is Yoga which shows how to keep your mind stable and make our body moving...If this is balanced, then our body can become committed to achieve our aims in our lives. Yoga is meant for both believer and non-believer," he said.

Urging people not to put Yoga into any controversy, Modi stressed upon people to adopt Yoga for good life.

"You must have seen, gynaecologists request pregnant women to do Yoga. They send them to Yoga trainers. As time goes by, we have become very busy...We have become cut off from ourselves. Yoga unites us with ourselves.

"Without putting Yoga in any controversy I want, for benefit of the masses, we should connect with Yoga. To unite with yourself, yoga is the great way, I am confident that we will move ahead in this path," he said. 
Modi noted that all countries across the world were associated with Yoga Day celebrations.
"Through United Nations, International Yoga day is being celebrated throughout the world. The whole world supported it whether it was developed or developing nations. Every section of the society supported it.

"There are several days celebrated by UN including World Cancer Day, World Health Day, World Mental Health Day, and several others. In the field of sports, there are several days which are celebrated. But this (IDY) is the only, which has direct relation with health and also with physical, mental and social health," he said adding, "I think, this speaks about the power of this heritage, identity of this heritage which was given by our ancestors."

The Prime Minister also noted that Yoga has turned into a "very big business" and has been offering job opportunities for youth.

In his nearly 25 minute address, he said the Centre was working in the direction of fixing protocols and norms for promoting Yoga across the world.

Before performing Yoga asanas himself, the Prime Minister first met "Divyangs" and then walked around surveying people performing asanas.

Towards the end, Modi freely mingled with the participants, who surrounded him and took the opportunity to take selfies with the Prime Minister.

Over 30,000 people from all ages -- 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana -- performed yoga 'asanas' on pink, red and blue coloured mats during the function.
Separately, about 10,000 people also performed yoga at over 100 other locations in Chandigarh itself. 
Published 21 June 2016, 03:26 IST

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