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Vice president, Union ministers lead Yoga day events in national capital

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 21, 2019  | 13:33 IST

/R New Delhi, Jun 21 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and several Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Harsh Vardhan, led events in various parts of the national capital to mark the fifth International Day of Yoga on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country-wide celebrations in Ranchi where around 40,000 enthusiasts stretched an extra muscle in various yogic exercises at the Prabhat Tara ground. In Delhi, the celebrations played out at several venues -- from the sprawling Rajpath and the lawns of Red Fort to municipal parks, hospitals, gardens and offices with thousands of enthusiastic Delhiites performing asanas. Thousands of women and men, all clad in white, converged at the Red Fort lawns and participated in a yoga event led by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. It was organised by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with the Brahma Kumaris. Naidu, in his address, recommended making yoga part of school curriculum and said doing so is necessary in the wake of changing lifestyles and growing incidence of non-communicable diseases. Around 60 ambassadors and diplomats from several countries attended a yoga event organised by the Ministry of External Affairs at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here. Defence Minister Singh along with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi rolled out mats and took part in the celebrations by performing asanas at the majestic Rajpath. "Yoga is not an activity of any particular religion but it provides a platform, which connects all religions for the betterment of the body, mind and soul of the mankind. And today not only the Indians but people of over 177 countries from Tokyo to San Francisco have been performing Yoga protocol with letter and spirit," Rajnath Singh said at the event. Singh added that when yoga connects with karma, it emerges into a big and strong force for the wellness of the mankind. Calling upon the gathering, the minister said that an amalgamation of yoga and karma might be helpful in making India a "vishawguru" (world leader). Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Food Processing Minister Rameshwar, Tourism Minister Parhlad Patel, Minister of State Pratap Sarang and Vice Chairman of the NDMC Karan Singh Tanwar also participated in the event. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, dressed in a white track suit, led yoga day celebrations at Parliament premises. Along with staffers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, BJP MPs Locket Chatterjee, Poonamben Maadam and Bhupendra Yadav, and former aviation minister Suresh Prabhu were among those who participated in the celebrations at Parliament premises. BJP working president J P Nadda performed yoga, along with other party leaders and workers, at a park opposite the party headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad led celebrations at Hauz Khas, Piyush Goyal in Lodhi Garden, Harsh Vardhan at Kudesia Garden in Civil Lines, Smriti Irani at Dada Dev Ground in Raj Nagar and Thawarchand Gehlot in Sangam Vihar, Dharmendra Pradhan at Talkatora Garden and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi at Ramjas Sports Complex Ground in West Patel Nagar. Traffic restrictions were imposed in parts of the city since early morning for the celebrations. Elaborate security arrangements were also put in place to ensure no untoward incident happens. Mats were also rolled out at the Nehru Park and Talkatora Garden under the aegis of the New Delhi Municipal Council. The events began with live telecast of the prime minister's speech from Ranchi. Besides, several yoga events were organised in various parks and office buildings in the city. Hospitals, including AIIMS and RML, also organised their own Yoga day events to mark the day. Several Union ministries also hosted events in their office premises for the government employees. To ease commuting, metro services began from terminal stations of all lines at 4 am. The centrepiece of the first International Day of Yoga celebration in 2015 was in Rajpath. The event made it to the Guinness World Records with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and 84 nationalities being part of it. Last year, the main function was held in Dehradun. PTI PLB GVS KND PLB SNE SNE

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