Modi leads Yoga Day celebrations in Dehradun

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga on International Yoga Day in Dehradun in Uttarakhand. Reuters photo.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation to mark the fourth anniversary of the ‘International Day of Yoga” as he joined at least 55,000 men, women and youth to perform various 'asanas' at a public event organised in Dehradun on Thursday.

In the lap of a picturesque lawn of the centrally-funded Forest Research Institute, 67-year old Modi performed as many as 20 asanas, including three types of Pranayam, during a 45-minute yoga session, held by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga director Ishwar Basawaraddi.

“Yoga unifies the entire humanity. It is a proud moment for everyone today that wherever the sun rises today, people welcome its warmth and brightness with Yoga," the prime minister said while addressing the people who volunteered to join the event.

From Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, and Jakarta to Johannesburg, "it's yoga everywhere,” he said

“Yoga has today become one of the most powerful unifying forces in the world," he added.

The prime minister described Dehradun as a “sacred land of the holy Ganga," which has four Dhaams (Hindu pilgrimage centres), outlining the significance of this location chosen for holding this year’s main event.

He hailed the United Nations for declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga and called upon the people of India to take pride in their past heritage and legacy.

“Uttarakhand has been the main centre of Yoga for decades. Let us take pride in our past heritage and legacy. The world will also then do so. Yoga has already brought India closer to the world," he said.

He also exhorted the people to make Yoga a part of their daily lives to have a healthy life.

Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat attended the event organised under the aegis of the Centre’s department of Aayush, amid heavy deployment of security in and around the venue.

Enthusiasm among the residents of Dehradun and other parts of the state towards the mega event remained visible.

Boys, girls, men and women of different ages began reaching the venue to participate in the event as early as 2 am on the intervening night of June 21 and June 22.

At some of the locations, a mild traffic jam was also witnessed as the crowd swelled up on the congested city roads.

For the locals, holding the main event in the prime minister’s presence brought much relief to the residents of Dehradun as a massive cleanliness drive was undertaken by the state authorities in the city ahead of the event.

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Modi leads Yoga Day celebrations in Dehradun

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