Thousands Throng Yoga Day Celebrations At Times Square, Hindu Temple, Lincoln Center, JFK Airport

New York: Tens of thousands of people from across all walks of life joined the International Day of Yoga organized by the Consulate General of India, along with several socio-cultural organizations based in and around New York, on June 21, 2015 at more than 50 places in and around the city.

They participated in these events with great pride and enthusiasm. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj represented the Government of India at the Annual Event of Yoga (Summer Solstice) at Times Square and the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Flushing.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has introduced a Resolution in the Senate in support of the IDY and 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. With the support of the Consulate, the Art of Living Foundation (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), Global Citizen Forum (B.K. Modi Group) organized a three hours program, including yoga, meditation, dance drama on yoga and finally East Meets West by Bhappi Lahri and Judge M. Kelly, famous Jazz maestro.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, B.K. Modi, Judge Kelly, Bhappi Lahiri, Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh and Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser addressed the 2700 strong supporters of yoga at the auditorium. Similarly, Hindu Temple Society of North America organized a daylong yoga and related events. External Affairs Minister participated in the closing ceremony and released a book titled “Yoga-Bharat’s Invaluable Gift to the World” by Mr. V. Ravi Kumar Iyer.

The Indian Consulate had also organized yoga lecture-cum-demonstration at the airports of New York and New Jersey. Passengers practiced yoga while waiting in transit. Photos of these events are available on The State Senates of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Westchester as well as several City Councils have issued Proclamations and felicitation messages to support and commemorate the first International Day of Yoga.

Several Senators, Congressmen, Mayors and Councilmen have sent their appreciation letters to the Consulate on the occasion. Indian-American communities represented by several Socio-Cultural organizations including the Overseas Volunteers for Better India (OVBI) were wholeheartedly involved in these events. The Consulate was also supported by Tech Mahindra, the leader in digitalization and business re-engineering for organizing these events.

Following the United Nations Resolution to declare International Day of Yoga on June 21 every year, the Consulate had been organizing yoga related various Curtain Raisers as well as yoga events in areas under the consular jurisdiction of this Consulate. Curtain Raisers were organized in Albany and Queens on June 9 and June 13 respectively. Yoga and related events would continue to be organized throughout the year at different places by this Consulate from time to time.

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