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Modi to lead Yoga Day celebrations from Srinagar on June 21

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NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: The main International Day of Yoga celebrations this year will be held at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar on June 21 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the event there, AYUSH Minister Prataprao Jadhav said on Tuesday.
It will be Modi’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after being sworn-in as the prime minister for his third term. Modi is scheduled to arrive in Srinagar on June 20 and lead the IDY celebrations the next day.
“Preparations are on and the arrangements for the programme have been put in place,” an official in Srinagar said, adding hundreds of people, including many sportspersons, are expected to participate in the event.
The participants have been shortlisted and are being trained in various ‘asanas’ expected to be performed by the prime minister, the officials added.
Modi’s last visit to Srinagar was in March this year when he addressed a public rally at the Bakhshi stadium here.
In Delhi, Minister of State for Ayush (independent charge) Jadhav said this year’s theme ‘Yoga for Self and Society’ highlights yoga’s dual role in fostering individual and societal wellbeing.
It underlines promoting connection between the inner-self and the outer world going beyond one’s own wellbeing, Jadhav said.
“Yoga nurtures physical, mental, and spiritual growth while promoting societal harmony. The enthusiastic participation of millions in recent years reflects the profound impact of yoga on communities,” the minister said.
He also announced that the PM has written to each gram pradhan, encouraging grassroots participation and the spread of yoga in rural areas.
Jadhav launched a ‘Common Yoga Protocol Book in Braille’ script to support visually impaired people in learning and practising yoga with convenience. The minister also launched Professor Ayushman comic on yoga. This book will help children to learn and practice yoga with interest and entertainment.
The United Nations General Assembly, heeding to a call by Prime Minister Modi, had made a declaration in December 2014 to observe June 21 every year as IDY.
The IDY resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2014 came at the initiative of PM Modi and was passed unanimously.
Since 2015, the IDY has evolved into a mass movement around the world, Jadhav said.
Ayush Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said that IDY is not only a celebration but also a concerted effort to bring about a behavioural change so that people adopt yoga in their lives so that they can get the benefits of yoga.
He further highlighted the ‘Whole of Government’ approach to the IDY celebrations, emphasising the coordinated efforts across various government departments and the active participation of state governments to ensure an inclusive and widespread observance each year.
Along with state governments, union territories are actively participating in the IDY 2024. The National Ayush Mission team across the nation is also engaged in organising IDY events, he said.
This year, the IDY will witness several events including the ‘Yoga for Space’. With support of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the unique initiative is being organised wherein all ISRO scientists/officers will perform Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) on the day.
The Gaganyaan project team will also be participating in IDY 2024.
The Ayush ministry has also launched a video contest through MyGov and MyBharat portals to raise awareness about yoga and to inspire people to prepare for and become active participants in the observation of IDY 2024.
Families have to record up to one-minute harmonious yoga demonstration short video as a part of the contest.
To promote technology and start-ups in the field of yoga, the ministry has organised Yoga Tech Challenge on MyGov portal and MyBharat portal which aims to identify and promote those start-ups or individuals who have developed yoga related tools.
Last year, the global celebration of IDY was led by Modi at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA, while the national celebration was led by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
The IDY celebration is done by a harmonious 45 minutes yoga demonstration called Common Yoga Protocol (CYP). Videos of CYP demonstrations are available on YouTube in 22 Indian languages, six UN languages and nine other foreign languages.

Police bans operation of drones in Srinagar ahead of PM visit

Srinagar: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday declared the city as a temporary “red zone”, banned the operation of drones.
In his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after being sworn-in as the prime minister for the third time, Modi is scheduled to visit Srinagar on Thursday and would lead the main event to mark the International Yoga Day at the SKICC here on Friday morning.
“Srinagar city has been declared as ‘Temporary Red Zone’ for the operation of drones and quadcopters as per provisions of Rule 24(2) of Drone Rules, 2021 with immediate effect,” Srinagar Police said on X. The police said all unauthorised drone operations in the “red zone” are liable to being penalised according to provisions of the drone rules.

It appears Maa Ganga has adopted me: PM

VARANASI: Visiting his Varanasi constituency which elected him to the Lok Sabha for a third consecutive time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said it appears that mother Ganga has now adopted him.
Addressing a PM Kisan Samman Sammelan, he said the mandate given by the people in this Lok Sabha election is truly unprecedented and has created history.
“I consider farmers, women, the youth and the poor strong pillars of ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India),” Modi said on his first visit to his constituency after the Lok Sabha polls and added that the first decision of the new government related to farmers and the poor.
He won from Varanasi with a reduced margin of 1,52,513 votes in these polls. In 2019, the margin was about 4.8 lakh. “The people of Varanasi have not only chosen me as MP for a third time but also as prime minister,” Modi said at the event where he released the Rs 20,000-crore 17th installment of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KSN) for more than 9.26 crore farmers.
After being sworn-in as prime minister, Modi signed his first file authorising the release of this installment of the scheme.
Referring to his reelection from the constituency in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “With the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and Maa Ganga, and the immense love of the people of Kashi, I have got the privilege of becoming the country’s ‘pradhan sevak’ for the third time.”
He said the people of Kashi have blessed him by electing him as their representative for the third consecutive time and added that “‘ab to Maa Ganga ne bhee jaise mujhe god le liya hai, main yaheen ka ho gaya hoon (Now, it seems as if Mother Ganga has also adopted me, I have become part of this place)”.
It is very rare in democratic countries for governments to be elected for a third consecutive term but the people of India did this, he said.
More than 64 crore people voted in this election, Modi said and added that there is no bigger election than this in the whole world.
“I recently went to Italy to attend the G7 meeting and even if we add all the voters of all these G7 nations, the number of voters in India is one and a half times more than that number,” he said.
“Even if we add all the countries of Europe, the number of voters in India will be two and a half time more than that number,” the prime minister said.
He said more than 31 crore women participated in this election, the highest anywhere in the world. “This number is close to the entire population of the US,” Modi said.
“This the beauty of India’s democracy and this power of India’s democracy attracts the entire world as well as impacts it,” he said.
Thanking people for gathering in large numbers for the event, Modi said, “This election for the 18th Lok Sabha in India presents with full strength to the world the vastness of the Indian democracy, the strength of the Indian democracy, the comprehensiveness of the Indian democracy and the depth of the roots of the Indian democracy.”
On his government being given a third term, he said this happened in India 60 years ago. Since then no government in India has scored a hat-trick like this, Modi said.
“In a country like India where the youth’s aspirations are so high, where the people have so many dreams, if people give a government an opportunity to serve after 10 years of work, then it is a great victory, a great trust,” the prime minister said.
“This trust of yours is my biggest asset. This trust of yours inspires me to work hard to take the country to new heights,” Modi said.
He added, “I will work hard day and night. I will make every effort to fulfil your dreams and your aspirations.”
Modi also asserted that agriculture will play a big role in making 21st century India third largest economic power in the world.
“Decisions like building more than three crore houses for poor families or extending the PM Kisan Samman scheme across the country will help many. Today’s programme will strengthen the path to ‘Viksit Bharat’,” Modi said.
He said the Rs 20,000 crore of the PM-KSN installment has reached the accounts of the crores of farmers across the country through direct benefit transfer (DBT). “Today, the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi has become the biggest DBT scheme in the world. Till now, Rs 3.25 lakh crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of crores of farmers of the country, and Rs 700 crore has been transferred to families of farmers in Varanasi alone. I am happy that technology was used to better deliver the benefits of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi to beneficiaries,” Modi said. Today, a big step has also been taken towards making three crore women “lakhpati didis”, Modi said and added that “the new role of our sisters as Krishi Sakhi will not only ensure them a source of income but also respect”.
He also credited the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra that enabled more than one crore farmers to register themselves under the PM-KSN. Rules and regulations have been simplified to increase accessibility to the scheme, Modi said.
To serve the people and take the country to new heights, he said he will work hard and make every effort to fulfil “your dreams and aspirations”.
Modi was welcomed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, and deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak among others at the event. In the evening, Prime Minister Modi took part in the Ganga aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat here.

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