Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday accused the BJP of “conspiring” to shut the AAP government’s ‘Dilli ki Yogshala’ programme by pressuring officials. He said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given his nod to continue the programme and has sent the file to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for approval.
Government sources had on Tuesday said Sisodia has sought an explanation from the secretary of the directorate of training and technical education for allegedly trying to “discontinue” the ‘Dilli Ki Yogshala’ programme.
The programme was announced by Kejriwal on December 13 last year for providing free-of-cost yoga instructors to the people of Delhi. Currently, 590 yoga classes are being run daily with more than 17,000 participants.
The programme is run by the Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU). The deputy chief minister said ‘Dilli ki Yogshala’ programme was started around 1.5 years back under which around 600 free camps were conducted and about 17,000 people were provided yoga training through trained instructors.
He said of the 17,000 people, around 11,000 were those who were going through post Covid ailments and yoga helped them a lot. “BJP is hellbent on depriving Delhi residents of free yoga from November 1 by putting pressure on officers to discontinue ‘Dilli Ki Yogshala’. The BJP pressurised the officers and conspired to shut this programme from November 1.
“They are deliberately hampering attempts to ensure healthy and happy lifestyle for the people of Delhi,” Sisodia alleged at a press conference. He also alleged that officials are being threatened by BJP leaders in the name of suspension if they fail to agree to their “baseless” demands.
CM Kejriwal has said this programme should not be closed down and has approved the Yogshala programme file, Sisodia claimed. “We will not let this programme to shut down. The CM has approved the file and has sent it to the LG. The file is now pending at LG’s end and we hope that the LG will soon grant approval for the same,” Sisodia said.
He further said prime minister himself is fond of yoga and promotes it across the country so there are hopes that the LG will allow the government to continue the programme for the best interest of Delhi residents.
Sisodia said of the 17,000 beneficiaries, 2,000 are those who had some very serious ailments after Covid but ‘Dilli ki Yogshala’ helped them heal gradually. It is the vision of CM Kejriwal that this programme should be expanded and more residents of Delhi should benefit from this, he added.
He said the aim behind the initiative is to highlight the importance of meditation and yoga in improving the physical and mental health of citizens. As an ancient practice, yoga has proven to be an effective means of improving the quality of life. Through daily practice, one can inculcate mindfulness and be in greater harmony with their environment, Sisodia said.