New Delhi: The national capital celebrated the second International Yoga Day on Tuesday with Delhiites turning out in large numbers at several venues earmarked for yoga demonstrations.
Connaught Place was packed with an estimated 10,000 volunteers, who had started assembling before dawn for the event that started at 5:30 AM. Participants lined the three radial roads - inner, middle and outer circle- for the mega event.
Apart from Connaught Place, the AYUSH Ministry organised the event at six other locations- Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden, Swarn Jayanti Park in Rohini, Yamuna Sports Complex in Patparganj and District Park in Dwarka. At least 100 Resident Welfare Associations identified by the ministry also hosted Yoga Day events.
Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, Venkaiah Naidu, was present on the dais as the chief guest along with LG Najeeb Jung and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. The dignitaries later joined the crowd for the 45-minute yoga protocol.
The event in Delhi's Connaught Place saw talks on yoga and musical performances. There were also special yoga performances by two differently-abled groups, including yoga on wheelchair.
A team of 250 CISF personnel, including a CISF women commando team also conducted a demonstration on 'Pekiti Tirsia Kali', a Filipino martial art.
Connaught Place was closed for traffic from 3 AM to 9 AM. There was heavy security at every radial, including bomb detection squad. Several ambulances could also be seen at the site. NDMC and police personnel could be seen helping the crowd and manage the event.
Celebrities like international wrestler Sangram Singh and Miss India 2014 Koyal Rana were also present at Connaught Place.
Several central government ministries also hosted events in their office premises for their employees including Civil Aviation Ministry.
Around 200 officials and employees of the Civil Aviation Ministry and Airports Authority of India , including Secretary R N Choubey, performed various Yoga asanans at the lawns of the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan.