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Rain dampens Yoga Day celebrations: Low turnout at India Gate, chaos at Lodhi Garden

Rains on Tuesday night threw arrangements for Yoga Day out of gear at India Gate and Lodhi Garden. Carpets at India Gate were soaked in water and the arrangements had to be shifted to the road. At Lodhi Garden there was a shortage of mats.

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2017 22:26 IST
Delhi news,Delhi rain,Yoga Day
People take part in Yoga Day celebrations at Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav / HT Photo)

Overnight showers dampened the International Yoga Day celebrations at India Gate and Lodhi Gardens where hundreds of people had gathered to take part in the event.

The organisers had made arrangements for around 1500 people at India Gate, but less than one third managed to turn up. With Delhi receiving around 18mm rain throughout the night, carpets and polythene sheets spread on the lawns of August Kranti Maidan near India Gate were all soaked with water. Arrangements had to be shifted to the road instead. The programme was mostly attended by the officials of the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry and their family members.

At Lodhi Garden too rains played spoil sport. People complained that there were not enough mats and the arrangements were not up to the mark.

Participants perform yoga at Lodhi Garden on Wednesday. (Arvind Yadav / HT Photo)

“We were very enthusiastic to attend this programme. But with no option left, we have to leave. The arrangements aren’t up to the mark. Log zyada intezaam kam, these people should have had for the backup plan. We were not provided with sitting spaces! It was better last year. This year, a disappointment,” said Jaya Sharma, a resident of Lodhi Road.

Around 1,500 people had turned up at Lodhi Garden. However, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) made arrangements only for 1,000.

“Due to the rain, people had taken 2-3 mats which resulted in the shortage. Also, we were amazed when more than 1,500 people gathered. Around 1,000 mats were properly laid on the ground. We had also kept polybags for people to keep their cell phones safely.” HP Singh, in-charge of yoga programme of the NDMC, said.

The live screening of the events at Connaught Place and Lucknow were also marred with connection problems.

People take part in Yoga Day celebrations at India Gate. (HT Photo)

The NDMC officials got extra yoga mats. However, as soon as the cart arrived, scuffle ensued. “I grabbed one from the cart. As I turned around, a man who stood behind me snatched it and ran away. It was scary,” says 36-year-old Ritu, who had come from Pahargunj.

Some, however, were happy with the experience.

“I had acute respiratory issue, and was on ventilator for 12 days. My family was told that I won’t survive for more than two years. After the first Yoga Day, I got to know about the health benefits of yoga. It’s been three years, I am healthy now. This much inconvenience doesn’t matter,” said Shoraj Singh Yogi, 68, a retired government official.

First Published: Jun 21, 2017 11:13 IST