Over 5,000 people perform yoga with tribals in J&K’s Bhaderwah

Bhaderwah (J&K), Jun 21 (PTI) More than 5,000 people, including senior civil and police officials and tourists, on Wednesday thronged the picturesque Jaie Ghati in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district to perform yoga on International Yoga Day.

Nomadic Gujjars, who are the local residents, welcomed the visitors who performed yoga asanas at the meadow situated at a height of 7,850 feet, 70 km from Doda administration headquarters.

According to officials, this was the largest gathering in the entire Chenab valley region, comprising Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts.

Doda Deputy Commissioner Vishesh Pal Mahajan, along with Doda Senior Superintendent of Police Abdul Qayoom, inaugurated the event.

Mahajan said the aim of organising yoga day in the lap of nature far away from the hustle and bustle of towns was to showcase the mundane beauty of the unexplored destination to attract tourists from across the world.

“Besides spreading the message of peace, unity in diversity and promoting healthy living by adopting yoga as a way of life, we also wanted to send a strong message against substance abuse and inculcate a sense of belonging towards mother nature,” he said.

By reaching out to the local tribals, who rarely get an opportunity to meet people from outside, the administration wanted to send across the message that they are an integral part of the society, he said.

“This is an experience we will treasure for a long time. The event has given us a feeling of sense of belonging and hopefully, the authorities will understand the problems we are facing in a better way,” Mohd Hussain Chechi, a local resident said.

Tourists from different states also expressed their gratitude to the administration for providing them with an opportunity to be a part of International Yoga Day in a serene environment.

“This is like a dream come true as the feeling to perform yoga in this environment itself is an experience to cherish forever. Performing yoga with the tribals is a fitting example of ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which is the theme of this year’s International Yoga Day,” Amit Kumar, a tourist from Ludhiana in Punjab, said.

Traditional Bhaderwahi songs and dheku dance were also performed by the local artists for the visitors.