Ahead of big day, govt to promote ‘brand yoga’ through merchandise

  • Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 08, 2016 16:01 IST
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led nearly 37,000 people in performing yoga exercises at Rajpath on the International Day of Yoga. (Ajay Aggarwal/ HT Photo)

Buoyed by the success of International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations last year, the Union government now plans to market the brand through fitness merchandise such as sports apparel and accessories.

The government has called tenders for the purpose, ahead of the event’s second edition on June 21. “The agency selected will market the logo. They may partner with retail outlets and sports apparel brands for using the IDY logo on their products. The agency will be hired for a one-year period,” said a senior official of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), the nodal ministry for the event.

A senior official told HT that the government plans to build on the IDY’s success from the previous year by popularising the brand through sponsorships and sale of merchandise, making revenue at the same time. “Many sports apparel and e-commerce companies cashed in on the yoga day last year to sell their merchandise. So why should we not cash in by branding the event?” he asked.

Read: Chandigarh schools gear up to do yoga with PM Narendra Modi on big day

The mass yoga demonstration programme at Rajpath last year, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, witnessed the participation of 35,985 people from 84 countries. The event gained entry into the Guinness World Records.

The government hopes to conduct IDY celebrations that are just as high-profile this year, and has already planned elaborate yoga demonstration events at places across the world. Organisations such as Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation are being roped in to organise events in India as well as their centres outside the country. The main mass yoga demonstration event will be held in Chandigarh.

The defence ministry will also organise yoga demonstrations, and the home ministry has instructed all central armed police forces to hold mass yoga training sessions. The HRD ministry will organise an ‘Olympiad’ involving school children to promote yoga among the youth.

The Union culture ministry has already submitted a proposal to UNESCO, seeking that yoga be declared an intangible heritage. “We will get to know by December if our proposal has been accepted,” an official said.

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