Over 5,000 people joined a programme at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday morning to celebrate International Day of Yoga 2018.
Indian high commission in Dhaka organised the event for the fourth time with the theme: ‘Yoga for harmony and peace’.
People from different walks of life in the city participated in the event wearing blue and yellow T-shirts as the day was celebrated elsewhere across the world.
Addressing the event as the chief guest, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said that yoga could play an effective role in bringing the drug addicted youth of the country back to normal life.
His remark came at a time when the government was conducting an anti-narcotic crackdown across the country amid criticism against extra-judicial killings that were taking place during the drives.
The minister said that the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had added a new dimension to the ancient meditative practice of yoga. The practice had now spread its wings to Bangladesh thanks to the Indian high commission, he mentioned.
‘When drug abuse is spreading across the country like wild fire, yoga can be used as a powerful and effective tool to protect the society from addiction,’ he said.
Indian high commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that yoga was gradually becoming popular in Bangladesh as about 5,000 people had joined the event this year compared to the meagre number of 700 in 2000.
‘Practicing yoga is the simple way to a healthy beautiful life; we want to give this message to the citizens,’ said Shringla.
State minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder, among others, attended the programme as the special guest.
Diplomats from different counties including Vietnam, the Vatican City, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Palestine and United Nation missions also joined the event.
US ambassador Marcia Bernicat and Bangladeshi film actors and actresses were also present at the event.
In 2014, Indian prime minister Modi, a yoga enthusiast, had urged the United Nations to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day following which the UN general assembly officially recognised the day for observance.
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