New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Massive security arrangements have been made at Rajpath and surrounding areas in the heart of the national capital for the first International Yoga Day on June 21.
Over 40,000 people, including ministers, political leaders and government officials, are expected to participate in the event scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.
The security forces would be deployed by 3 a.m. at Rajpath and the flanking Central Vista as well as nearby areas within a two-km radius, with over 5,000 Delhi Police personnel, sharp shooters, dog squads and commandos taking positions. Security personnel will be manning the area till 10 a.m.
The overall security for the occasion would be as tight as it is during the Republic Day parade (on January 26), officials told IANS.
Delhi Traffic Police have divided Rajpath and the nearby areas in two zones – red and green – to ensure smooth flow of traffic as people perform yoga asanas (postures) marking the UN-sponsored International Yoga Day.
Rajpath, Rafi Marg, Janpath and Man Singh Road have been put in the red zone, where traffic movement has already been stopped since Wednesday, officials told IANS.
Ring Road, Mathura Road, Aurobindo Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Mother Teresa Crescent, Sardar Patel Road, Upper Ridge Road, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Barakhambha Road, Indraprastha Marg and Lodhi Road are under the green zone, where only labelled vehicles and residents – with proper address proof – would be allowed to enter on the day.
“Our personnel will be deployed from 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. on June 21 to ensure uninterrupted movement of VVIPs,” Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander told IANS.
Commoners will not be allowed to enter the green zone during the period, he added.
Meanwhile, participants are being trained by yoga gurus on the right way to perform asanas on the day.
Government officials, political leaders and others, who have been chosen to be part of the function, have been having their morning yoga sessions for the past one week.
On Rajpath, every morning a large number of people can be seen practicing yoga to prepare for the event.
The United Nations on India’s request last year declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
This being the first occasion to celebrate yoga at the international level, the authorities are not sparing any effort to make it a grand show.
Ishvar V. Basavaraddi, director of the Morarji Institute of Yoga Sciences, said people from 193 countries would take part in various parts of the world.
“Our institute has prepared thousands of CDs and booklets in different languages to help people perform proper asanas worldwide,” Basavaraddi told IANS.
The CDs and booklets have already been sent to all 193 countries.
The pictures in the CDs and booklets would be of various yoga gurus, including that of Ramdev, performing asanas, he said.
“This would certainly help people understand the importance of yoga in life,” Basavaraddi said.
He said the event may create yoga awareness among more people and they might start doing the ancient Indian exercises that keep mind and body healthy and peaceful.
“The entire global community has come together in support of celebrating the first International Day of Yoga on June 21. Now that strong support has turned into immense enthusiasm. I am seeing many people and organisations across the world are working towards making it a memorable event,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a few days ago.