New York gears up for second International Day of Yoga celebrations

Consul General Ms Riva Ganguly Das (right) and Deputy Consul General Dr Manoj Kumar Mohapatra addressing the gathering
Consul General Ms Riva Ganguly Das (right) and Deputy Consul General Dr Manoj Kumar Mohapatra addressing the gathering

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): After the overwhelming success of last year’s maiden International Day of #Yoga celebration, New York City is all set to make it larger in the second year. Instead of a single day celebration, as it happened in 2015 on June 21, this time it’s going to be a 19 daylong event from June 10 to 28 in and around New York. But 2016 Yoga day will be a little less glamorous as it’s not going to be attended by any celebrity.

While addressing the 69th session of UNGA in September, 2014, Prime Minister @NarendraModi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. On December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus to declare 21 June as “International Day of Yoga.” In its maiden year IDY became hugely popular around the globe.

Like last year the Consulate General of India, New York in association with local Indian community and associations, would be organizing a series of Yoga related events in and around New York from 10th – 28th June 2016.

The Consulate General of India in New York on June 8 hosted a gathering to review the preparations for upcoming second International Day of Yoga in New York City.
Consul General Ms Riva Ganguly Das and Deputy Consul General Dr Manoj Kumar Mohapatra chaired the meeting. Members of the media and leaders of local cultural institutions attended the conference.

Other speakers who addressed the gathering included Mr. Mahesh from Mallakhamb Federation USA, Ruchika Lal from The Art of Living Foundation, Jagdish Sewhani from HSS, Chaitanya Sonar from Sahaja Yoga, Sanjay Attara from Hindu Temple Society of North America, Guru Dilipji from World Yoga Community and Malini Shah representing Queens Museum.

Consul General Riva Ganguly Das informed that in the city of New York and adjoining cities, several high profile events are being organized to celebrate IDY. “We are getting overwhelming support from the community. We want to thank you all”, she said.

Deputy Consul General Dr Manoj Kumar Mohapatra gave the details of the events. The Consulate is partnering with more than 25 organizations/ associations to arrange these events. Their main partners for the events are Queens Museum, Mallakhamb Federation USA, The Art of Living Foundation, Hindu Swam Sevak (HSS), Federation of Indian Association (FIA) – Ohio, Indian Cultural Association of North America, Sahaja Yoga, The Hindu Temple of North America, World Yoga Community Inc., New England International Day of Yoga, Times Square, Indian American Association of Westchester, EWR International Airport, JFK International Airport, South Asian Art Council and Sahaja Yoga – Pennsylvania Chapter.

Representatives of organizations participating in the second IYD with the Consul General Riva Ganguly Das
Representatives of organizations participating in the second IYD with the Consul General Riva Ganguly Das

Dr Mohapatra said that MIT is hosting Yoga sessions for its students. The Massachusetts police also take part in Yoga sessions.

The Curtain Raiser will be held on June 11 at Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Summer Solstice at Times Square will be held on June 20 from 7 am to 8:30 pm. The Consulate have also organized yoga lecture-cum-demonstration at the JFK and Newark airport. Passengers can practice yoga while waiting in transit. “This year there will be 30 minutes Yoga demonstrations in the airports so that incoming and outgoing passengers can easily participate”, informed Dr Mohapatra.

But unlike last year no delegation from India is coming this year for the celebration. Last year the delegation led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj represented the Government of India at Times Square and the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Flushing. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who introduced a Resolution in the Senate in support of the IDY, Madhur Bhandarkar, Film Director, also participated and cheered up the participants at the Times Square where close to 20,000 people participated throughout the day.

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