My beloved people of Mizoram, CHIBAI!
- As we approach 21 June, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, we recall the UNGA declaring it as International Yoga Day. Moving the resolution in General Assembly on 27 September 2014, Shri Narendra Modi had said "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being".
- On this occasion 177 Nations cosponsored the resolution; which is the highest number of cosponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature. It was adopted with a thunderous applause without a vote!
- Since its inception in 2015, millions and millions of people across the globe are benefitting from the Yoga. It is practiced by 192 countries including 44 Islamic Countries. In all, it accounts for more than two billion people. Today, it is an unassuming secular multibillion dollar industry in America alone.
- We are proud of the fact that Yoga was developed in India more than 5000 years ago ie. long before any organised religion or belief system was born.
- There are certain misconceptions about Yoga, which must be dispelled. Some believe even in Mizoram that Yoga is a religious activity impinging on other faiths. It must be clearly understood that Yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief system or community; it has always been approached as a technology for inner well being. It works on the level of one's mind, body and energy.
- Yoga cultivates health and well being (physical, essential, mental and social) through the regular practice of a range of different techniques, including postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-inquiry and meditation.
- You will agree that no one needs it more than us in Mizoram. Despite having a vibrant civil society, high literacy, good climate and all the other necessary ingredients, we still have the dubious distinction of suffering from cancer, drug addiction, alcoholism, HIV and so on in a big way. In that our youth is affected in particular. It calls for a change of mind set and major life style changes.
- It is heartening to note that we are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits that accrue from practicing Yoga. It is also realised as one of the major tools of fighting various prevailing ailments and becoming healthy. The number of Yoga practitioners is on increase and the society is by and large beginning to accept it. During my dialogue with various segments of our society including the Church elders, NGOs, Government institutions and young students, the essence of this ancient science is being appreciated.
- The Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given special emphasis on promoting Yoga. Ministry of AYUSH has launched a number of schemes in this regard which must be made use of. In Mizoram, Yoga Day 2017 marks the launching of Healthy Mizoram Campaign, which must reach every corner of our State. I urge each and every citizen of my State to participate in Healthy Mizoram Campaign 2017.
- All the organs of State, the civil society and youth must come forward and take on this onerous task in right earnest for a better tomorrow. Let Yoga become a part of our daily routine with our youth carrying the torch. The elders of society too have a responsibility to steer the course and set an example. I am extremely happy to learn that the Assam Rifles along with other organs of State, students and members of civil society are starting this year's campaign by conducting a training schedule to "train the trainers". Nearly one hundred such volunteers are under training. They will then, spread out in the State to create awareness and encourage practicing of Yoga. Let every school, college, locality in our towns and villages take it up on a mission mode. I am certain that the Districts Administration, Autonomous District Councils and other Departments will also get on with it on priority.
- It is not to be a one off event, but a beginning of the renewed drive for a healthy Mizoram. I have no doubts that we will pick up the gauntlet and be a winner. I and my wife wish you all the success in this endeavor. I look forward to Mizoram becoming a model State for others to emulate.