Sunday March 18, 2018

Second International Yoga Day: India celebrates Yoga Day With PM Modi and 30,000 Yoga Enthusiasts

Around 96,000 enthusiasts had applied to practice yoga with Modi, and 30,000 were selected - 10,000 each from Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana

International Yoga Day
Thousands of people participated in International Day of Yoga last year. Wikimedia
  • International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21 June 2016 every year after the unanimous resolution was passed by UN General Assembly in 2014
  • This year’s Yoga Day saw active participation from 30,000 people who joined the PM in Chandigarh
  • The Day was internationally recognized with the UN Building in NY by flashing yoga poses on its walls

International Yoga Day is a product of diligent endeavors by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the support of his government. The idea was first introduced by Modi on 27th September, 2014, in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being . Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”, said Narendra Modi. He suggested the date to be 21st June since it is the longest day in the northern hemisphere, and holds special importance in many countries.

International Yoga Day
Yoga training. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The Prime Minister celebrated the 2nd International Yoga Day in Chandigarh on Tuesday, 21st June 2016. Encouraging the nation to participate, Modi reiterated that this practice is essential to the health of the body as well as the mind, and not just a superstitious religious tradition. “Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life,” he said, inviting tumultuous applause. Despite a few thundershowers early morning, a huge turnout of yoga enthusiasts was witnessed with the event starting at 4 AM in the morning.

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Very tight security was ensured in Chandigarh’s sector 1 area. Around 96,000 enthusiasts had applied to practice yoga with Modi, and 30,000 were selected – 10,000 each from Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. These selected people had also undergone training for the past 15 days to finally join in with the Prime Minister.

The focus for this year’s International Yoga Day was to encourage participation from the Divyangs, a term coined by the Modi government to address the differently-abled people. People from all walks of life, including college students, security personnel, and the elderly showed tremendous interest in the event that was held.

International Yoga Day
Richard Rahul Verma performing yoga. Image courtesy: ANI News

The Prime Minister’s Cabinet and other officials joined in on the effort. BJP Chief Ministers of various states were noticed holding events in their respective states. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani participated in various yoga events to pledge support. Even the Us Ambassador to India, Richard Rahul Verma was photographed doing yoga with his colleagues at the US Embassy in Delhi. Baba Ramdev held his special event at Faridabad in Haryana.

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This day was marked with many news websites and newspapers publishing important facts about yoga, and proceedings worldwide. Apps were launched for smartphones to help people incorporate yoga into their day to day activities.

International Yoga Day also received international support from various countries like The US, Egypt, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and The UK, where events were held for thousands of people. The UN Building in New York was seen flashing holograms of the yoga pose against their walls to mark the day.

The official website for International Day of Yoga hosted interactive puzzles and quizzes to engage participation. The government has been strategically publicizing this ancient Indian practice since a long time now. International awards and certificates have also been announced to commend yoga experts over the globe.

-by Saurabh Bodas (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96



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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yoga has many benefits, this is a very healthy initiative taken by the people. Plus 30,000 people doing yoga is a huge number. People should be encouraged to do more of it.

Next Story

Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS