New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The open green spaces in Lutyen’s Delhi often see government employees lazing or playing cards. The build-up for the first International Yoga Day has seen some of the same staff taking time out to perform yogic contortions.
Staff in small groups have been huddled together in late afternoon hours in open spaces along some central government offices practising yogic asanas under supervision.
An official of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts said that a Yoga practice session was being held at the campus for the past few days.
“It is held around 5 p.m. for about half an hour. The participation is voluntary,” the official said.
An official working in the Ayush (ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homeopathy) ministry said that about 2,500 government employees would take part in the grand Yoga event at Rajpath on June 21, the International Yoga Day.
She said that steps would be taken so that staff are encouraged to make Yoga a part of their daily regimen.
Apart from the planned record-making event at Rajpath, where about 37,000 children and adults will simultaneously perform Yoga, several institutions will hold Yoga events on their campuses.
The AIIMS will organise a 35-minute session on June 21 which has been made mandatory for the faculty.
Sources said that a circular has been issued for the event, which will be held in an auditorium in the campus. “Participation is mandatory for the faculty,” an official told IANS.
Yoga Day will also be observed in Tihar Central Jail, the largest prison in Asia, which holds about 8,000 prisoners.
“We started a Yoga teaching session for all inmates last month. All the jail officials will take part in the yogic exercises along with inmates on the International Yoga Day,” Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) of Tihar Jail Mukesh Prasad told IANS.
Rashtrapati Bhavan will also commemorate the International Yoga Day with officials and their family members participating in a mass Yoga event at the Club House on the campus early in the morning.
Yoga practice classes were conducted for residents of the President’s Estate from June 1 to 20.
Ayush ministry officials said they have written to states to celebrate Yoga Day in a big way, and all the states have been requested to organise events at state, district or panchayat headquarters on the day.
The ministry has applied to Guinness World Records for the “largest Yoga demonstration/class at single venue” for the event being held at Rajpath.
The day will see over 11 lakh NCC cadets perform Yoga. About nine lakh members of armed police forces will perform Yoga in their field units.