Jammu/Srinagar June 21: Scores of people across Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday joined the special yoga day events, as the army led the celebrations from the front in the highly inaccessible and rugged mountain terrain of the Ladakh region.
There were groups of a faction in the state who had called for boycotting of Yoga day since the concept has its roots in Hinduism and that it was a way of saffronisation. The Yoga day celebrations in Srinagar for instance were only led by the Army and civilians majorly stayed away from it. In Jammu preparations done in different areas and while some places were jam packed, the others saw thin attendance. The Yoga day attendance for instance at Parade College for women saw barely any people coming in.
In other places People of all ages assembled at jogging parks, educational institutions and other venues set up for the purpose in Jammu to learn Yoga and make it a part of their daily well-being exercises.
Udhampur based headquarters of army’s northern command had made special arrangements in and outside the command headquarters to acquaint soldiers and civilians with the benefits of Yoga exercises.
Parents joined school children during training exercises in different parts of Jammu region where the event started much before the sunrise at many places because of the scorching summer heat.
Colonel Sandeep Singh of the Indian Army said on phone from Kargil town of Ladakh region on Sunday morning, “We have organised this event today for officers and jawans who are doing their duties at 14,000 to 15,000 feet altitudes in the area.
“Our soldiers discharge their duties at highly inaccessible, rugged terrains which remain snowbound for almost nine months.
“Yoga is a routine daily event for the jawans of the army and this is virtually the only exercise you can do at places like this.
“We have today made special arrangements for creating greater awareness about yoga among soldiers and civilians by bringing in instructors from outside.
“In addition to holding of special sessions to mark the day, we have provided administrative and logistic support to dozens of schools in Kargil and Leh districts today to create awareness about this traditional Indian exercise for both body and soul,” he said.
Colonel Singh said special Yoga events are being held in far flung border areas of Batalik, Drass, Maskoh and other places in the Ladakh region where soldiers and residents showed high enthusiasm to learn and practise the traditional Indian exercise which does not involve any running around.
Jogging and running are extremely difficult in the Ladakh region because of high altitude where the air is rarefied and people complain of breathlessness even after a casual stroll.
Well attended Yoga sessions were held in the Kashmir Valley at army schools and some private educational institutions as well.
In a lighter vein, Health Minister Choudhary Lal Singh asked the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani to practise yoga to cool his temper.
The firebrand separatist leader is known for spitting venom against the state and central governments.