Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh: The trucking community came together at Nalagarh-Baddi in Himachal Pradesh to embrace Yoga, India's now globally popular soft power. A day ahead of the International Yoga Day, foothills of the mighty Himalayas provided a perfect setting for hundreds of truck drivers to embrace a healthy way of life.
Truck drivers gathered in large numbers at the Truck Union office compound in Nalagarh on June 20, Wednesday to practice specially-designed Yoga asanas for them as part of the Truck Aasana campaign, a joint initiative of Zee Media and Castrol. The participants got valuable tips on how to keep themselves fit through Yoga. Castrol Truckaasanas, developed as a result of a health and well-being survey conducted with over 1000 truckers, were launched on Wednesday in an event hosted by Zee Media.
The Truck Aasana campaign propagates the idea of promoting health and fitness among India's truck drivers, who literally drive India's economy. They negotiate dangerous curves and bends, stay away from their families, and work for long hours without a break, and eventually suffer from stress and various ailments*. This was corroborated by the Castrol India Trucker Health Report released by Hon'ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Monday, 18 June.
Popular Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann pepped up the crowd with some hit numbers from his vast repertoire. He insisted on the need for following a disciplined regimen to stay fit and fabulous. "Like you all, I am also most of the times on roads. Since our schedule is grueling, we have to make special efforts to keep fit. I urge all of you to make this morning session a daily habit. Keep doing Yoga and you will never counter any health problems."
Krishan Singh Saini, Member, Managing Committee, Truck Union, Nallagarh and Managing Committee, AIMTC, said: "This is a great initiative for the well-being of truck drivers, who are often saddled with erratic schedules and very little family time. I hope we draw inspiration from this event and make it part of our daily routine."
The Truck Aasana initiative was launched by Hon'ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Monday, 18 June at Transport Bhawan.
Lauding the initiative, Mr Gadkari said: "We all know that road accidents are a major hurdle faced by the Indian transportation industry. And truck drivers, who toil for long hours on our highways, are always at the receiving end. This initiative will go a long way in bringing a positive change in the lives of these unsung heroes of the Indian trucking industry. If they stay fit and healthy, road fatalities will come down."
When the honourable minister's message for truck drivers was played out at the event venue, they responded in agreement.
Watch the video here.
According to Kedar Apte, VP - Marketing, Castrol India: "We have been working with truck drivers for several decades now and have built a strong and enduring relationship with them. Through our long association with them, we have gained valuable insights about their lives and working conditions. One of the key insights is the fact that most truck drivers in India end up neglecting their own health while struggling to make a decent living.
"Many of these issues are a result of the driving conditions and hence we have tied up with The Yoga Institute to custom design Aasanas, for the truck drivers which will encourage them to focus on their health and well-being and mitigate some of these issues. Over the course of the year, we aim to reach out and engage with over one lakh truckers across the country."
Mehraj Dube, Marketing Head of ZEE Media said: "This is a phenomenal initiative and we all at ZEE Media are very proud of being a part of it. Truck drivers are the backbone of India's flourishing economy, so if they are healthy, our economy remains healthy."
"ZEE Media is happy to partner with Castrol in this great initiative and we hope yoga will help truck drivers, the way oil helps a truck," he added.