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Anna Hazare, Shilpa Shetty to conduct programmes at Kanteerva stadium

Bengaluru: Karnataka will join the world on Sunday to embrace the age-old discipline of yoga with a slew of activities ranging from physical, mental and spiritual exercises to mark the first International Yoga Day.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated a special yoga camp at White Orchids in Manyata Tech Park in the city's northeast suburb on Saturday.

"We are considering to introduce yoga in schools across the state to make younger generations grow stronger physically and mentally by practicing its various asanas (exercises) and have its vast knowledge to empower themselves," Siddaramaiah said on the occasion.

Setting aside political differences, the Congress government has directed all schools and colleges across the state to celebrate Yoga Day, which has been declared a global event by the United Nations at the behest of India.

"Though it is not compulsory or mandatory, we have advised schools and colleges to observe Yoga Day, as nations the world over have endorsed India's proposal and the UN has agreed to make it an international event," state Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar told IANS here.

Social activist Anna Hazare, Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty and scores of sports personalities, yoga experts and teachers will conduct programmes at the sprawling Kanteerva stadium in the city centre by guiding about 5,000 people, including men, women and boys and girls in performing various exercises.

"The day will begin with a walkathon from Vidhan Soudha through Cubbon Park to the stadium where the main function will be held," Swami Vachakananda, one of the yoga teachers, told reporters at the venue on Saturday.

Besides academic institutions, universities and corporates, various religious and social organisations will hold special yoga sessions and day-long events across the city and state to create awareness and propagate its benefits at all levels.

The Bharatiya Janata Party state unit and its affiliate bodies will celebrate Yoga Day in a big way.

"Elaborate arrangements have been made at the National College grounds in the city's southern suburb for demonstrating and performing yoga asanas by experts and acharyas (teachers)," party's state unit general secretary C.T. Ravi told reporters here ahead of the function.

Various religious mutts and ashrams across the state will participate in the event by holding yoga classes and special satsang (gathering) for educating the people on the virtues of yoga.
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