Harsh Vardhan inspires IIT students to embrace yoga life, says `it is science`

Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, June 21: Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the country’s youth to embrace the “Yoga life” for ensuring themselves a lifetime of mental and physical fitness.

Addressing students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur on Sunday, Harsh Vardhan said, “I am a man of science and a surgeon by training in the allopathic branch of medicine. I assure you Yoga does not contradict science -it is science.”

“I invite you young budding engineers to experiment with Yoga because soon you will realise that it qualitatively enhances your productivity, apart from making you a more sociable and healthy person,” he added.

He recalled being one among an elite group of participants at World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Kobe meeting of policy makers in 2000. “There was consensus that health is a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well being of an individual, not merely freedom from disease and infirmities. To achieve that the world’s leading policy makers struck a consensus on Yoga being one of the potential indigenous solutions,” he stated.

Hundreds of students, teachers and staff turned out for a special event at the campus on the occasion of the first United Nations “World Yoga Day”.

The Minister’s presence bolstered their enthusiasm and they responded positively to the inherent message in the Prime Minister’s campaign, to popularise yoga on an unprecedented global scale.

The eminent Yoga practitioner from Allahabad, Swami Anand Giri, gave a highly invigorating lecture with demonstrations on Yoga asanas.

The Minister pointed out that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had mainstreamed Yoga into the country’s public system. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, a separate ministry has been created for Yoga -as part of AYUSH. It is part of the premier hospital system of the country -AIIMS – in six cities of India.

Dr Harsh Vardhan expanded the term -“Yoga Life” – to cover humankind’s responses to the problems bedevilling mankind and the future of the planet.

The Minister also attended a large camp organised in Kharagpur town by the Nehru Yuva Kendra and Patanjali Peeth. Hundreds of people turned up in response to the Prime Minister’s call to celebrate the goodness of Yoga.

He recalled the great propagation of Yoga’s wellness on an international scale by Paramahamsa Yogananda, another great Yogi from Bengal, in the first half of the 20th century.

“The Autobiography of a Yogi”, written by Yogananda in the early 1940s is one of the greatest bestsellers of the 20th century. Dr Harsh Vardhan urged huge audience to read the book as it is believed to have transformed many lives.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Dr Harsh Vardhan, visited the “Science and Technology Museum” within the campus of IIT Kharagpur. He was shown around the place by Partho Chakrabarti, Director, and was impressed with its remarkable exhibits showcasing the products of the research of the eminent seat of learning and inquiry.

(With Agency Inputs)

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