Heavy rains and exams have stopped most schools from organising mass yoga on Wednesday. Education minister, Vinod Tawde had asked schools to observe Yoga Day on the 21st of every month.
In a circular on June 8, the state school education department’s asked schools to organise yoga programmes on the 21st of every month (other than Sundays) and not just on the International Yoga Day on June 21. The circular was issued after Tawde said yoga should become a year-long activity, instead of a daylong celebration.
But Mumbai schools affiliated to the CBSE board are busy holding the first of their summative assessments and so they couldn’t hold any yoga activities. “Exams are going on in the school so how can the department ask us to suddenly hold yoga programmes?” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri. She added that they usually hold yoga classes everyday. “It is a part of our daily timetable.”
The constant downpour since morning prevented other schools from conducting mass programmes. “ We made students do a few asanas in the classroom, it was not possible to use the school ground,” said Sudha Nair, principal, Vile Parle Mahila Sangh School.
Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yog Samiti conducted yoga programmes in a few schools in Kandivli, Borivli, Kalyan and Bhiwandi.
Last month, the education department had given special permission to the association to help schools conduct yoga. The department had asked schools to cooperate with Patanjali.
“We partnered with the schools and taught them exercises like pranayam and memory boosting techniques,” said Jyotsna Desai, who runs the education wing of the Yog Samiti.
The state and central government have been insisting on yoga in schools since last year after the United Nations adopted an India-led resolution declaring June 21 as Yoga Day.
Recently in August, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) made yoga and surya namaskar compulsory for all civic schools. The Bombay high court also upheld this decision saying that yoga is just a form of exercise which is good for the body, when an activist challenged the civic body’s order.