The International Day of Yoga witnessed a remarkable achievement on Wednesday as the city of Surat set a new Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people for a yoga session at one place.
Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Harsh Sanghavi, made the announcement during the grand event held in the city.
With a staggering participation of over one lakh people, the Yoga Day event surpassed the previous record, marking a momentous achievement for the state. The celebration witnessed the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who joined the state-level International Day of Yoga commemoration in the scenic Dumas area.
Addressing the enthusiastic crowd before the commencement of the yoga session, Chief Minister Patel announced that a whopping 1.25 crore people were participating in the Yoga Day celebration at 72,000 venues across the state.
Expressing his delight, Patel stated, "The Yoga Day event in Surat has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people for a yoga session at one place."
The Chief Minister also highlighted the significant role played by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in popularising yoga worldwide. He emphasised how yoga and pranayama had proven beneficial during the challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said, "We are writing history today. We will lead the way for the world. What a spirit of Suratis to wake up at 4 a.m. and come here for yoga!"
To accommodate the colossal gathering, the event venue was meticulously organised in 135 blocks, with each block accommodating around 1000 participants. Special arrangements were made for school students, with separate blocks designated for their participation. Approximately 20,000 students from 42 private schools added to the collective spirit of the event.
The Y Junction BRTS route, where the Yoga Day event took place, underwent a transformation with a green carpet laid out to welcome the yoga enthusiasts. Consequently, bus services on this route were temporarily suspended, ensuring a serene and dedicated space for the participants' yoga session.
To authenticate the record-breaking attempt and ensure accurate participant counting, a team of 8-10 representatives from the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records were present in Surat.
Assisting them in the meticulous counting process were 25,00 dedicated volunteers appointed by the administration. Each participant was provided with a belt by the Guinness Book representatives, and the counting was conducted by scanning the barcode on the belt, leaving no room for discrepancies.
Notably, in addition to Surat's groundbreaking achievement, various ministers, MLAs, members of Parliament, and officials participated in Yoga Day programs held across different districts of the state.
As part of the nation's 75 years of independence celebrations, the Gujarat government selected 75 iconic places in the state for the festivities. Among them were prominent landmarks such as the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, the statue of Unity in Kevadia, the White Rann of Kutch, and the Modhera Sun Temple.