Ramlila ground gets ready for Ramdev's fast

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Jun 02, 2011 15:51 IST

A 2.5 lakh square metre waterproof marquee has been erected, massive cut-outs of Baba Ramdev have been put in place, and thousands of his followers have reached the site. Ramlila ground -- the venue for the yoga guru's proposed hunger strike -- is bustling with activity even before the fast begins June 4.

Speaking to IANS about the arrangements for Saturday, Jaideep Arya, spokesperson for Baba Ramdev, said: "With just two days to go for the mass protest fast, we have erected a 2.5 lakh square metre overhead waterproof tent where all the Baba's disciples will sit on fast with him."

About 250 labourers are giving the final touches to the huge marquee. Arya said the ground has been booked for a month since it is an indefinite hunger strike.

"We have erected a volunteer centre at the extreme end of the maidan and volunteers from various states are staying there. Basic facilities like 650 bathrooms and toilets have been stationed inside the maidan, out of which 40% will be for women," Arya said.

The massive ground will be swarmed by Baba Ramdev's followers, thousands of whom from northeast and southern states have already reached the venue.

Talking about the schedule for the D-day, Arya said the day will start with morning prayers at 5 a.m., followed by the fasting programme.

"We are also planning to hold some yoga camp, but it is not finalised," he added.

Apart from the massive tent, "we are also providing drinking water facility, medical facility and a media centre with three communication towers", he added.

The spokesman said besides the national capital, rallies will be held across the country.

When queried if Baba Ramdev plans to recall his fast against corruption and black money stashed abroad in foreign banks, Arya said: "The fast is definitely on. We expect crores of people from across the country to participate."

Baba Ramdev reached the capital around noon Wednesday and had a red carpet welcome as four union ministers, including finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and human resource development Minister Kapil Sibal, rushed to the airport to hold talks with him.

However, rejecting pleas by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the yoga guru said he will begin his hunger strike against corruption and black money as scheduled from Saturday.

"On June 4, there will be a satyagraha (protest fast) in Ramlila Maidan as well as in 624 districts across the country as crores of people want the country to be rid of black money, corruption and demand a change in system," he said.


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