As part of International Yoga Day on June 21, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead the events at the United Nations in New York while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a mega yoga session at Vijay Chowk in the Capital.
June 21 - the day that marks summer solstice in the northern hemisphere - was designated as the ‘International Day of Yoga’ at India’s instance last December after Mr. Modi recommended it at his UNGA speech, saying yoga engenders a “sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature” and could even “help deal with climate change”.
A senior official in the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that Ms. Swaraj would be present at the occasion, which will be attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the president of the General Assembly and Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa. In an interview to The Hindu earlier this year, Mr. Ban had confirmed that he would attend the event and was taking Yoga lessons in preparation for it.
The Indian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General of India in New York have also lined up events to mark Yoga Day. In New York and adjoining cities, as many as 11 events have been advertised, including an annual event at Times Square. The Indian Embassy in Washington that initiated Yoga Day celebrations with a talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on April 29; will also host ‘Yoga on the Mall’.
In the UAE, the Consulate General of India, Dubai will host the Yoga Day celebration, for which a crowd of more than 15,000 is expected. An official of the CGI said they are expecting participants from Indian schools, local universities, members of the diplomatic community, Dubai Government Authorities, as well as the large Indian community living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Ahead of the day, Ms. Swaraj, along with AYUSH minister Shripad Naik, will launch a special portal on June 9.