India gears up for fifth International Yoga Day, PM Modi to lead celebrations from Ranchi

This year's slogan for International Yoga Day is  – Yoga for Heart. 

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to lead celebrations for the fifth International Yoga Day from Ranchi's Prabhat Tara Ground on Friday June 21. Union Ministers and top government functionaries will also attend over 40 major Yoga Day events across the country. 

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The Prime Minister landed in Jharkhand capital city on Thursday night and headed straight for the Raj Bhavan for an overnight halt. He will reach the main venue for mega yoga celebrations by 6:30 am, where more than 40,000 yoga enthusiasts are expected to take part. Nearly 400 make-shift toilets, over 200 drinking water kiosks, 100 CCTV cameras, 21 ambulances, eight medical teams and jawans of NDRF are in place at the venue adjacent to the Prabhat Tara school. 

The Prime Minister will share the stage with Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Governor Droupadi Murmu, Union Minister of state (Independent) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik and Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi.

The idea of International Day of Yoga was first floated by PM Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014. The first International Day of Yoga was observed across the world on June 21, 2015, with over 30,000 people joining the Prime Minister for yoga at the Rajpath in New Delhi. Last year, around 50,000 people participated in the International Yoga Day event organised at Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute. This year's slogan is – Yoga for Heart. 

Home Minister Amit Shah will attend Yoga Day celebrations at Rohtak in Haryana while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be in Delhi. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) working president J P Nadda along with other party members will perform yoga at a park opposite the headquarters of the saffron party on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Marg in Delhi. Newly-elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will also participate in an event on the premises of the Parliament House complex, officials said on Thursday.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi will attend early morning yoga session at Rajpath. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir will attend a yoga session at the Yamuna Sports Complex in Shahdara.

All the Indian missions across the world has been asked to celebrate the day in a grand manner. PM Modi's video message has been sent to all embassies for screening at the beginning of the yoga protocol, the External Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

"It is not just taking place in capital cities but other parts too. If you look at Indonesia we are doing it in front of Ramana temple. In Paris we are doing it near Eiffel Tower. We have selected high-profile locations," the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Delhi alone will host over 300 yoga sessions which is likely to seen participation of over 10 lakh. Other Union ministers who would be attending International Yoga Day events in Delhi are Ravi Shankar Prasad (Hauz Khas), Piyush Goyal (Lodhi Garden), Harsh Vardhan (Kudesia Garden, Civil Lines), Smriti Irani (Dada Dev Ground, Raj Nagar), Thawar Chand Gehlot (Sangam Vihar), Dharmendra Pradhan (Talkatora Garden), Ramesh Pokhriyal (Burari), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Ramjas Sports Ground, Patel Nagar) and Arjun Munda (Lado Sarai), reported news agency PTI.