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International Yoga Day: Run up Begins in Delhi, Health Awareness Heightens

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice to government officials to practice Yoga ahaead of the Sunday International Yoga Day, June 21, several central government officials are making a beeline to yoga calsses in the morning in Delhi. Elsewhere, in Haryana and BJP-ruled states too, the yoga fever is gripping the officials, especially those in their 50s finding it difficult and challenging too.

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev. (IANS)

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev. (IANS)

Though it was not compulsory, the move is to particiaptate on Sunday at a mass outdoor yoga session scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records. “If some officials turn up without practice, there will be risk of the record claim being affected,” said the memo.

Few kilometres away in Haryana, yoga guru Ramdev too held a yoga camp for Haryana’s chiief ministers and his cabinet, MLAs and bureaucrats at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, in the run-up to the International Yoga Day on June 21.

Ramdev, a brand ambassador of Haryana, pointed out the need for yoga that is recognised even in Muslim nationas and the European and American nations to better the fitness levels of people. The message is clear, change your lifestyle to live a healthy life later. In fact, lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of diabetes and hypertension.

India is home to diabetes and BP, which are common among those above 50 with ahuge burden on the government healthcare. From 19.4 million diabetics in 1994, the number just tripled in 20 years to 66.8 million by 2014, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

With this number, India has become home to 17 percent of the world’s population of diabetics, while 77 million more people are just in the border to be included soon in the tribe, making the Indian Council of Medical Research wary about the impact on nation’s health.

While Ramdev was one of those icons who tried to keep diabetics away making his yoga classes reach millions on TV channels, the baton is now passed on to the Prime Minister, who is hoping to make at least the officials to fall in line first, to be followed by people writ large later.


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