Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led an estimated 50,000 people in Dehradun in performing asanas for the fourth International Yoga Day. Several Union ministers are expected to mark the event in different parts of the country.
“People across the country are welcoming the sun. From Dehradun to Dublin, there’s only yoga,” Modi said at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, according to NDTV. “Be it the tall mountains of Himalayas or deserts of Rajasthan, Jakarta to Johannesburg, yoga is inspiring people everywhere.”
“Yoga Day has become one of the mass movements for good health and well-being,” Modi said. He asserted that yoga was the “perfect solution” to all the problems people face every day. “Yoga binds together a person’s body, brain and soul, hence making one experience a feeling of peace,” Modi added.
After his speech, Modi performed yoga with thousands of volunteers at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna performed yoga at a three-day camp in Kota, the Hindustan Times reported. In Mumbai, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar participated in the celebrations.
Earlier this month, there were reports that the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, or the Ayush Ministry, had sought the Indian Space Research Organisation’s assistance to use satellite imagery of outdoor events on International Yoga Day. The satellite imagery would help the ministry get an idea of how many people participated in events on that day. In 2017, an estimated 7.5 crore people had participated in around 20 formal events on International Day of Yoga.
The central government held Yoga Day celebrations for the first time on June 21, 2015. India had proposed naming the day International Yoga Day at the United Nations, which was taken up by 177 nations.