Panaji, Junde 6: With a few days to go for the International Day of Yoga 2017 on June 21, AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik has said that there will be no holiday declared and that all countries will be participating in the event this year. Addressing the media in Panaji on Monday, Naik said that since yoga is an early morning activity, there was no need for a public holiday on International Yoga Day. “We have not declared a holiday as yoga is a morning activity. From 6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m., after the activity is finished, they can go to work. You can opt to take leave on your own account. No special holiday has been announced,” Naik said.

“The situation is that 100 per cent countries in the world this year will do Yoga. The programme was held in 199 countries last year. This year, more countries will be added to the list and programmes will be held through our embassies and missions,” the Naik added.

He also said that there was no compulsion for schools and other institutions to hold Yoga Day events. “There is no compulsion (to hold Yoga Day in schools). We are encouraging yoga for the betterment of one and all,” he said.

The AYUSH Minister also said that the main International Yoga Day event would be held in Lucknow this year and is expected to be attended by over 51,000 yoga enthusiasts, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “Over 51,000 people will be participating. As there is paucity of space, screens will be put up in eight to nine parks nearby and simultaneously Yoga will be conducted,” Naik said.

“We have requested to the state governments to organise a big programme. NGOs, schools and colleges also have been asked to hold their own events,” he said, adding that central ministers would be attending the major Yoga-related programmes in every state.