Sushma Swaraj to attend NY Yoga day event

Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:55:33

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is set to address a crowd of about 30,000 people in a mega Yoga event at Times Square in New York next Sunday—notwithstanding the row over her role in securing travel documents from the British Government for Indian Premier League (IPL) ex-chief Lalit Modi.

Swaraj, who will leave for New York on Saturday, will take part in the events at the United Nations (UN) headquarters on the occasion of the International Yoga Day on June 21.

The UN has declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for it in his speech at the General Assembly last September. The Modi government, which projected it as a big achievement, is now set to hold mega-events in India and abroad to observe the day. 

The government has also invited diplomats from 152 foreign missions in the country for the event on Raj Path that day.

Swaraj will share the dais with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa at the Yoga event to be held on the premises of the international organisation on Sunday.

She will then go to Times Square to attend another Yoga event, being organised on summer solstice for the past 13 years. Nearly 30,000 people are expected to take part in the event, as

the UN recognition of the day has added to the participants' enthusiasm.

Swaraj will also attend another Yoga event, organised by Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living Foundation, in New York.

She will have a meeting with Ban Ki-moon on Monday before returning to New Delhi on Tuesday.

Swaraj, however, may have to leave immediately for Kathmandu to represent the Indian government in a conclave organised by the Nepalese government to solicit funds from the international community to rebuild the quake-hit nation.

She will also travel to Bangkok in the last week of the month to attend the World Sanskrit Conference.

Swaraj on Tuesday flagged off the first batch of the pilgrims for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China through a new route via the Nathu La pass in Sikkim.

“I am delighted to flag off the batch of pilgrims for two reasons. First, the promise I made last year of enabling elderly citizens to undertake the pilgrimage is being fulfilled, and second, the happiness I see on faces of these people who otherwise would not have been able to undertake the Yatra,” said Swaraj. 

This was the first public event she attended after revelations about her help to the IPL ex-boss.

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