Just 3 days to go for World Yoga Day, no govt volunteers at Mumbai schools yet

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2015 23:02 IST

Mumbai schools, which were promised yoga teachers to train them for World Yoga Day on Sunday by the government, are still waiting for the instructors.

With just three days left for the event, schools conducting the programmes on June 21 have been forced to find trainers on their own or depend on their physical training (PT) teachers.

Education minister Vinod Tawde had assured that the government would send volunteers to every school participating in Yoga Day, a week before the event. The volunteers from varied yoga institutes were to train the teachers of the schools in different asanas.

Mumbai schools said that they have not received any communication from these volunteers yet.

Lilavatibai Podar School, Santacruz, has roped in four to five instructors from a private yoga institute, to hold workshops for students and teachers. “Since yoga is a part of our curriculum, we have a well-trained yoga teacher,” said Norina Fernandes, principal of the school. “We have also brought in instructors to teach yoga to our staff and teachers.”

Similarly, South Indian Education Society (SIES) School, Matunga, is relying on one teacher trained in yoga to conduct yoga activities on June 21. “One of our teachers, who has recently been trained, is teaching our students during PT periods,” said Kalyani Arumugam, principal.

Education officials were clueless as to why their volunteers hadn’t reached city schools. “Trainings are ongoing at district-level,” said Nand Kumar, principal secretary, school education and sports department. “We do not know why they haven’t approached city schools yet.”

Teachers said relying on one or two teachers to conduct yoga programmes for many students would be unsafe. “It is not advisable for small children to do yoga unsupervised,” said Rajesh Pandya, a senior teacher, Fatimadevi English School, Malad. “We were counting on some volunteers from the government.”

A few schools have not even held any practice sessions. “We have called volunteers from to demonstrate few asanas to our students on Sunday,” said Sadhana Sahastrabuddhe, principal, secondary section, Parle Tilak High School, Vile Parle. “The students will follow them.”

Protocol for Yoga Day
* A circular from the education department sent on June 9 asked schools to:

* Hold programmes from 7am to 7.30am on June 21

* A common yoga protocol is to be followed, starting with a two-minute prayer

* Warm up for three minutes

* Performing yoga asanas standing, sitting, lying and other postures for 15 minutes

* Followed by pranayam and meditation for the remaining time

* After the session, schools have to fill in forms stating the number of students, teachers who attended the programme

* The forms also ask the schools to provide reasons for not holding programmes that day.

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