NEW DELHI: For about 20 minutes this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed yoga asanas in the rain at Lucknow’s Ambedkar Sabha Sthal, leading thousands of people in celebrating Yoga Day. In Ahmedabad, where yoga teacher Ramdev and BJP chief Amit Shah led celebrations, about 5 lakh people turned up to do yoga at 5.30 in the morning. PM Modi persuaded the United Nations in 2015 to declare June 21 International Yoga Day. Events are being held in 180 nations across the world today.
Despite rains that started in the morning, PM Modi led the International Yoga Day celebrations from Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended the event.
Here are the top 10 points on International yoga day celebrations:
- Dressed in a white T-shirt and loose white trousers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the stage in Lucknow with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who too performed yoga in the light drizzle.
- “I welcome all yoga lovers present here and those performing yoga in various corners of the world. Today, yoga has become a part of so many lives. Yoga’s popularity out of India is high and it has connected the world with India,” PM Modi said.
- The Prime Minister — who participated in celebrations in Delhi in 2015 and Chandigarh in 2016 — has appealed to three generations of families to perform Yoga together, take a picture and upload it online.
- It rained in Delhi too this morning, as thousands gathered clutching umbrellas or wrapped in raincoats to do yoga. In Lucknow, people were seen using yoga mats as umbrellas and raincoats as yoga mats.
- Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Vijay Goel, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the BJP’s presidential nominee, Ram Nath Kovind, joined the celebrations in Delhi’s Connaught Place.
- Other senior union ministers led yoga sessions in different parts of the country.
- In Ladakh, jawans of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police performed a yoga session at 18,000 feet and a temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius.
- Officers of the Indian Navy held yoga events on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.
- Over 200 million people were estimated to have participated in the event last year, a figure the government hopes to beat this year.
- International Yoga Day is being celebrated in nearly 180 nations. Some of them, including China and UK, have scheduled events through the week. The United Nations headquarters in New York has been lit up with images of yoga postures.