Saturday April 21, 2018

Celebrating the Spirit of Yoga: To mark International Yoga Day, Indian Embassy in Cairo organises Yoga at a park

The second International Day of Yoga coincided with the holy month of Ramadan and both of them celebrates the same spiritual aspirations of people

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A woman practicing yoga. Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
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The Indian Embassy in Cairo played host to the second International Day of Yoga at the scenic Al-Azhar Park on June 21, 2016. The historical monuments — the minarets of famous mosques and the iconic Saladin Citadel — formed the perfect backdrop for the event that was held after Iftaar during the holy month of Ramadan.
It saw a participation of more than 1,500 yoga enthusiasts including politicians, businessmen, diplomats, media persons and members of the Indian community. Imaj Hassan Ahmed, Miss Earth Egypt 2015, was the chief guest of the event.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
Highlighting the importance of the day that was celebrated on June 21 in 193 countries around the world, India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya, said, “Yoga is India’s gift to humanity and in just a year’s time, it has gained immense popularity in the Land of Pyramids. The second International Day of Yoga coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, and they both promote the same spiritual aspirations of people.”
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He added that the holy month calls for self-control, spiritual development and aims at attaining peace of mind. “These concepts are in line with the core principles of yoga to achieve peace through meditation and self-discipline,” Bhattacharyya said.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
As a thoughtful gesture, the Indian Embassy had scheduled the celebration in the evening as most people fast during the day. Organising the event after dusk saw the participation of Indians, Egyptians and other foreigners in large numbers.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga was ‘Connect the Youth’. In tune with it, more than 400 school children, 40 yoga instructors and their students participated in the event and presented a  special performance based on yoga asanas. Even regular visitors of the park enthusiastically joined in the celebration.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
A local music group performed a few instrumental songs that opened the spectacular event on Tuesday evening, June 21. The yoga instructors took turns in conducting a variety of meditation and exercise sessions to enthral those present at the venue. The Ambassador delivered the welcome address; it was followed by the chief guest’s speech. In her address, Miss Earth Egypt 2015 said, “Yoga has become popular all over the world because of its benefits. It helps us improve our behaviour towards ourselves and nature as well.”
The Common Yoga Protocol was played in Arabic, and all the participants enthusiastically performed yoga asanas. There were also many other activities including yoga dance, group yoga, circle yoga, advanced yoga, meditation, and cultural performances as part of the celebration.

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Ahmed Darwish, Chairman of the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone, told that he is a recent convert to yoga and but though he is a late starter, he is a sincere practitioner.
In the run up to the second International Day of Yoga, the Indian Embassy had conducted an online photography competition titled “Yoga in Egypt”. A first-ever yoga championship was also organised by the Indian Embassy on June 5, 2016, under four categories, with the age of participants ranging from 4 to 72 years. The winners of the two competitions were awarded prizes during the event at Al-Azhar Park on June 21, 2016.
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Photo credit: Mona Abdel Karim
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in Cairo has been conducting yoga classes since 1993. But in the past few years, yoga has become quite popular in Egypt, and many gyms, clubs and organisations have started conducting yoga classes. The number of yoga schools in Egypt has increased threefold in the last one year, from 14 to 40. The growing popularity was reflected in the participation and support of a vast number of people at the International Day of Yoga event.
In addition to the ‘Yoga at the Park’ event held in Cairo, the Indian Embassy is organising such celebrations in two other Egyptian cities — ‘Yoga by the Suez Canal’ in Ismailia on June 23 and ‘Yoga at the Beach’ in Alexandria on June 25 — to mark the occasion.
Two more events — ‘Yoga by the Suez Canal’ in Ismailia on June 23 and ‘Yoga at the Beach’ in Alexandria on June 25 — will be held to celebrate the occasion

-by Shillpi A Singh, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. She can be contacted at shilpi.devsingh@gmail.com 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Wow! Yoga in Cairo. There should be a twist with a little bit of their traditional dance moves 🙂

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In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi stresses on preventive healthcare

Modi also said the government has set a target to free India from tuberculosis by 2025

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)
  • In his latest ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Modi talks about health care
  • He presented stats of the healthcare sector
  • He talks about public awareness and development strategies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people to be more conscious about preventive health care because prevention was not only beneficial for a person but also for his or her family and society. Modi also said the government has set a target to free India from tuberculosis by 2025 and that the government and insurance companies will jointly provide Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to about 10 crore families per year.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of healthcare in his last Mann Ki Baat edition.

In his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”, the Prime Minister said: “Preventive healthcare is the least costly and the easiest one as well. As much as we are conscious about preventive healthcare, it will be beneficial for the person, his family and society.” Modi also stressed on the need for sanitisation because “a healthy India is as vital as clean India”.

“I believe that healthy India and clean India are supplementary to each other. The country has moved ahead in the health sector with a conventional approach. Earlier, every health related work was the responsibility of the Union Health Ministry only. But in the current scenario, every department, state governments and other departments are working together for a healthy India.” He said the first necessity for a healthy life is cleanliness.

Also Read: With 100% FDI, Narendra Modi calls Food Sector a Priority in Make in India Programme

“As all of us took up the responsibility, the result is that in the last four years or so, sanitation coverage has almost doubled and risen to around 80 per cent.”

Modi said yoga has attained worldwide recognition as a measure of preventive healthcare and urged people to start a movement right now. “Yoga Day will be celebrated on June 21. Can we start working from now to encourage people for Yoga?”

He said the government had opened over 3,000 ‘Jan Aushadhi Kendras (people’s medicine centre) and was working continuously to open more such centres. More than 800 medicines are being made available at these centres at an affordable price, he said.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Narendra Modi presented stats regarding health care system in India. Wikimedia Commons

Citing some key steps of his government for patients, the Prime Minister said: “The cost for heart stent for the patients has been reduced to 85 per cent. Knee implants cost has also been regulated and reduced by 50-70 per cent. “Under ‘Ayushman Bharat Yojana’, the Indian government and insurance companies will jointly provide Rs 5 lakh for treatment to about 10 crore families or say 50 crore citizens per year.”

Also Read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

He said MBBS seats in present 479 medical colleges have been increased to about 68,000 and new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are being opened in various states with a view to provide better treatment to people across the country.

“One new medical college will be set up for every three districts.” The Prime Minister said the government is working to make the country TB-free by 2025. “This is an enormous task. Your cooperation is needed to create public awareness. All of us will need to make united efforts to become TB-free,” Modi added. IANS