NEW DELHI: Ignoring rain and wet ground, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out his yoga mat this morning at Lucknow’s Ambedkar Sabha Sthal to lead the celebrations on the 3rd International Yoga Day. Around 45,000 people attended the event, among them Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and key ministers of his cabinet. Yoga teacher Ramdev and BJP chief Amit Shah started the celebrations in Ahmedabad at 5.30 am. Three years ago, PM Modi persuaded the United Nations to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day. Events are being held in 180 nations across the world today.
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 greeted the people from the stage he shared with Yogi Adityanath.
- “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 wet beginning to the day did not deter enthusiasts in Delhi or Lucknow. Thousands could be seen clutching umbrellas or wrapped in raincoats. In Lucknow, people were seen using yoga mats as umbrellas and raincoats as yoga mats.
- Despite the rain, the streets of Delhi’s Connaught Place wore a festive look as people rolled out colourful mats. Yoga events were also held at the city’s Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden and India Gate.
- Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Vijay Goel, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind joined the celebrations in Delhi’s Connaught Place.
- Other senior ministers are leading yoga sessions in different parts of the country.
- In Ladakh, at a height of 18,000 feet and a temperature of minus 25 degrees Celsius, the jawans Indo-Tibetan Border Police held a yoga session.
- PM Modi — 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.
- 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 has been lit up with images of yoga postures.