New Delhi: The Centre has shortlisted four cities Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Mysore for holding the main function of International Yoga Day this year. These four names will now be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which will select one city and then finalise the venue of the main function of IDY to be held on 21 June.
“We have already started the preparations. The main function of International Yoga Day (IYD) will be held outside Delhi. Four cities — Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Mysore — have been shortlisted for selecting the venue of the main function of International Yoga Day this year,” a senior AYUSH ministry official said.
According to the official, several states were consulted and based on their responses the four cities were shortlisted.
In the lead-up to the main event, an international yoga festival would be held in March end, which will be followed by 10 state-level fests to be held in different parts of the country.
“The aim is to build an atmosphere of Yoga in the lead-up to the main event and sensitise the masses about the grand function on 21 June,” the official said.
“We want to convert Yoga into a bigger activity, stretch it over the entire year and not just restrict it to a one-day event,” he said.
Besides, the government will soon declare 100 parks especially dedicated to yoga activities across the country to promote this traditional practice.
The United Nations General Assembly, heeding to a call by Prime Minister Modi, had made a declaration in December 2014 to observe 21 June every year as IDY.
Last year, the main event of the IDY was held in Lucknow in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated.
The first IDY celebration was organised at Rajpath in New Delhi on 21 June 2015, in which representatives of 191 countries took part. In 2016, the main function was held in Chandigarh.