First ever World Yoga Day will be celebrated in 192 countries simultaneously on June 21, making it the biggest ever event for which the India Government has applied to the Guinness World Records.
India decided to celebrate the day on a grand scale after 177 nations co-sponsored PM Narendra Modi’s proposal to observe International Yoga Day at the UN General Assembly in September last year.
The proposal was passed exactly 75 days later in December last year, with not a single country opposing it, creating a record of sorts.
“We will be celebrating the day in all the countries except for Yemen; where we had to recently shut our embassy because of the war. Though the visa of our trainer was rejected by Pakistan, we made internal arrangements and Yoga will be performed within our Embassy compound in Islamabad,” said Sushma Swaraj, minister for external affairs, government of India.
Refuting claims that the Modi government was trying to force people into performing Yoga, Swarj said it was ‘voluntary’ and ‘not binding on anyone’.
“Out of the total of 177 countries which have given co-sponsorship, 47 countries are from Organisation of Islamic Countries. They have co-sponsored the event and expressed their desire to participate in the yoga sessions being organised in the Indian Missions,” she said.
“As for Surya Namaskar, it’s anyway not part of the 35 minute Yoga Protocol that our experts have created and is available in the form of a video. Our experts wanted to create simple postures and Surya Namaskar has some 12 postures that cannot be performed by someone with spondilitis etc.,” said the minister.
The Ministry of AYUSH has also roped in private trainers who are training people not just in India but in their centres abroad. In India, apart from the mega event planned at the Rajpath with a gathering of 35,000 people, Yoga will be performed in 650 districts.
Over 11 lakh NCC cadets and about 9 lakh members of the Armed Police Forces will also perform common protocol yoga in their respective field units.
PM Modi will be part of the gathering at Rajpath and Swaraj will be present at the UN headquarters to commemorate the event.
To commemorate the day two coins of Rs 10 and Rs 100 and a stamp will also be released.