It has an A-grade star cast. Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty along with cricketer Virat Kohli and wrestler Sushil Kumar will be the brand ambassadors for Yoga Day on June 21.
The show stopper at the mega event, however, will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing yoga along with an estimated 35,000 people on Rajpath, the main ceremonial avenue in Delhi that stretches from Rashtrapati Bhawan, the presidential palace, to the majestic India Gate.
Some of his ministers are expected to join PM Modi. Among those who will also perform yoga exercises along with the PM will be about 10,000 defence and paramilitary personnel, said Sripad Naik, minister for the newly set up AYUSH ministry, which is organising the mega event.
He said about 15,000 people will be drawn from yoga institutes like that of Baba Ramdev, the yoga teacher.
Mr Naik said the programme will begin at 7 am on Sunday, June 21 – which has been designated International Day of Yoga by the United Nations after adopting a measure proposed by the Modi government. It will end at 7.35 am.
Simultaneous yoga programmes will be organised in state capitals and all the 190 Indian missions across the world, the minister said.
Last year, PM Modi had used his first speech at the UN General Assembly to call for an International Yoga Day to be recognised.
Yoga lets people “discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature”, PM Modi had said at the time.
PM Modi is an enthusiastic practitioner of yoga. He says he performs Yoga exercises every day and credits them with giving him energy so he only needs a few hours of sleep each night.
The Prime Minister had appointed Mr Naik as India’s first minister for AYUSH or Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy to promote yoga and traditional medicines in November, as he embarked on a mission to increase awareness about home-grown health treatments.