In India, we are guided by the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. We aim to assist everyone in accessing our age-old wisdom so that they can lead a happy and healthy life. It was the vision and effort of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the United Nations recognised the importance of yoga by declaring June 21 as the International Day for Yoga. This has helped India accomplish the goal of taking the practice of yoga to the masses, cutting across the barriers of age, race, gender and political divisions.
This year, the preparations for celebrating the International Day of Yoga are in full swing. The Ministry of Ayush unveiled a 100-day countdown to IDY on March 13, 2022, which started the campaign: 100 days, 100 cities and 100 organisations from March 13 to June 21, 2022, in India and across the globe. A 75-day countdown event was organised at the Red Fort in New Delhi. The 50-day countdown was celebrated at Sivasagar, Assam, and a 25-day countdown was celebrated in Hyderabad, Telangana. As a part of this campaign, events are also being organised at historical and iconic cities across the country. The campaign will conclude on June 21, 2022, with the main event at Mysuru’s Dasara grounds.
Every year we finalise a theme for the International Day of Yoga. On May 29, 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced the theme in his “Mann Ki Baat” address as ‘Yoga for Humanity’. This theme captures various benefits offered by yoga and also tries to highlight its importance in the current geo-political scenario. This year, we are going ahead with something we haven’t done before.
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The unique programme of the ‘Guardian Ring’ will further strengthen our efforts to commemorate the International Day of Yoga. Under this programme, Indian embassies and missions abroad will participate in the performance of yoga asanas. The display of performances will coincide with the movement of the Sun, starting from the eastern end of the globe and then moving towards the west. The programme will be live-streamed on DD India. Nearly 80 countries, across 16 time zones, will be participating in this program.
This year June 21 will also witness a performance of yoga asanas across 75 historical locations in the country. Through these 75 locations we will not only be presenting our rich culture and heritage to the world, but we will also be displaying our strength in the domain of Medical Value Tourism (MVT). The Day will highlight all the tenacious efforts being undertaken by the central government to promote yoga.
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As a doctor, I realise the importance of paying attention to public health, and I also understand the various challenges ahead of us. Post Covid-19, there has been an increased focus on ‘wellness’. International Day of Yoga seeks to acknowledge the role of yoga in promoting wellness. Yoga arouses a feeling of freshness, vitality, and balance, which allows us to increase our productivity at work. Yoga has the power to instill a sense of spirituality and revive our innate selves. This highlights its potential to ensure world peace. People all around the globe are benefitting from yoga. The critical and complex questions pertaining to public health have an answer hidden in the traditional practice of yoga. There is a need to see, understand, and accept these answers. Therefore, we must promote debates and discussions on the power of yoga.
India is increasingly positioning itself as a hub for wellness. Promotion of Yoga around the globe has been helping India display its strength in the domain of health, and allowing it to establish itself as a preferred destination for Medical Value Tourism. International Day of Yoga 2022 will prove to be a milestone in this direction. Let us all come together and inspire our near and dear ones to perform yoga. After all, a healthy mind and a healthy body are the secrets to a happy life!
(This article is authored by Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, Minister of State, Ayush. All views are personal.)