Thousands of Yoga enthusiasts including students joined the High Commission of India and Kenyan Yoga associations to commemorate the Fourth International Day of Yoga in Nairobi at the Premier Club Grounds, on 17th June, 2018.
The Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Foreign Affairs H. E. Amb. (Dr.) Monica Juma was the Chief Guest on the occasion. She was accompanied by Mr. Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
In her address, Amb. (Dr.) Monica Juma appreciated India’s contribution in various fields including culture, peace, love, cuisine, health and yoga. She underscored the importance of yoga as a unifying factor between body and mind.
The High Commissioner of India Ms. Suchitra Durai, in her opening remarks, emphasized the importance of Yoga in daily life, highlighted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership in promoting yoga through personal example and spoke about role the of yoga in spreading peace and harmony in the world.
In her remarks, Amb. Sahle-Work Zewde stated that participation of common people in the celebrations of International Day of Yoga in Nairobi has increased over the period.
Mr. Ababu Namwamba underscored significance of sports and culture in uniting people across the world.
Common Yoga Protocol was performed by all the participants. Local yoga experts demonstrated advanced Yogic postures. Local institutions held camps related to health, wellness and traditional medicines on the occasion.
The event was graced by melodious instrumental music played by a local cultural group called Navrang Fine Arts Foundation. Shanti mantra was played at the end of programme.
More than dozen top Kenyan athletes; Mr. Aasif Karim, former test cricket captain of Kenya; Mr. Tom Tikolo, former cricket player; more than 1000 students (from age 4) including 200 students from University of Nairobi; members of the Diplomatic Corps; eminent persons of Indian origin like Dr. Manu Chandaria, Chairman of Comcraft Group and Pravasi Bharatiya Awardee; Mr. Irshad Sumra, former Member of Parliament, Mr. Sharad Rao and Dr. Prakash Heda; members of business community, representatives of Indian diaspora associations and media attended the event.
From Somalia, Mr. Hasan Mohamed Warsame, Minister for fisheries and marine resources of Galmudug State; Mr. Abdirashid Said Mohamud, Member of Parliament from Puntland were also present. Three Indian majors such as Airtel, Mahindra and Tata Motors were the main partners in the event and many local sponsors from Indian diaspora supported the event.
The event was also celebrated simultaneously at several venues in major counties of Kenya such as Kisumu, Eldoret, Meru, Nyeri and Embu. Many local organizations are organizing events promoting Yoga throughout June 2018 to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
The Kenyan dignitaries acknowledged strong potential of yoga in contribution of universal health care. In 2014, United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted 21 June (summer solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere) to celebrate as International Day of Yoga.