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International Yoga Day: Govt Makes Grand Plans, This Year’s Theme to be 'Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family'

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing asanas on  International Yoga Day.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing asanas on International Yoga Day.

According to officials, since some lockdown restrictions would remain in place come the Yoga Day on June 21, people would be asked to observe the occasion performing yoga themselves or with their families.

The government machinery is getting into top gear to make all the arrangements for the International Yoga Day 2020 after its earlier plans to hold a grand event were disrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Considering the circumstances that the virus has brought, this year’s theme will be 'Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family', government officials said, adding that it is keeping in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ aim of turning this “crisis into an opportunity”.

According to officials, since some lockdown restrictions would remain in place come the Yoga Day on June 21, people would be asked to observe the occasion performing yoga themselves or with their families, keeping in mind the social distancing protocols and while wearing masks.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 to raise global awareness about the benefits of the ancient Indian practice. While last year a grand event was led by PM Modi from Ranchi, this year an event was planned at Leh, Ladakh.

Now, the PM is expected to lead the nation for the programme virtually. It will begin at 7am and last for 45 minutes.

Minister for AAYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik, said he was very upbeat about the arrangements. "These are unprecedented times and thus the significance of yoga in such a pandemic situation is of a huge impact.”

Sources in the ministry said a massive digital campaign for Yoga Day promotion would be launched soon. The promotion would stress on three things – firstly, that Yoga is for holistic healing, a concept that India has taken to the globe; secondly, Yoga is the most effective and inexpensive way of boosting our immunity under the present circumstances; and thirdly, Yoga has the ability to be a huge stress buster, especially considering what many are grappling with in these times.

“The Prime Minister also said in his recent Mann Ki Baat that whenever he speaks to world leaders they always ask him about Yoga. This shows its worldwide acceptability and popularity. We will ensure all efforts are made to make this year's event a success too. Public participation on the clarion call by our beloved PM has been overwhelming," he said.

On May 31, Prime Minister Modi had announced a contest during his radio address - "My Life, My Yoga - encouraging people to send videos explaining how yoga has impacted their lives and also perform three yoga asanas.

The contest, which has gone live on Ministry of AYUSH’s social media pages, has already seen some overwhelming response, officials said.

Contest winners will be declared in two categories, India and World contestants and participants can win cash prizes of Rs 1lakh, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000. There will be separate winners in male and female category.