Professor Hrushikesh Senapaty, in his welcome address, said that this Olympiad creates awareness about a scientific and holistic way of living. The purpose is to create positive attitude among all human beings and promote peaceful living together in the society. Yoga has found an important place in the school curriculum as a part of Health and Physical Education. It is not only for physical development but mental, spiritual and emotional development which also reduces stress. That is why the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has emphasised to promote yoga among school children. This Olympiad will create a sense of unity and understanding among children, who have travelled from different parts of the country – both from rural and urban areas.
Yoga is a means as well as an end for promoting holistic health, said Professor Saroj Yadav, Dean(Academic), NCERT. She informed that this year 567 students from 33 States/UTs including CBSE, KVS and NVS and 4DMS of RIEs of NCERT are participating in the Olympiad as compared to the participation of 431 students from 28 States/UTs last year. She further emphasized that Yoga helps in improving physical fitness, mental alertness and emotional stability by developing healthy habits and life style. Prof. Yadav added that for the first time, the competition includes entries from CBSE, KVS and NVS.
After witnessing a mesmerizing yoga performance by young students from Demonstration Multipurpose Schools (DMS) from RIEs Ajmer and Bhubaneswar, the Chief Guest, Mr. Eric Falt, stated that UNESCO is proud to associate itself with the International Yoga Day. He added that yoga has been inscribed on the UN representative list of intangible Cultural Heritage. He said that education has become overly competitive and stressful, but the practice of yoga would lead to physical, mental and emotional well- being. Mr. Falt reiterated that yoga goes beyond gender, culture, language, age and ability.
The book title ‘Health and Physical Education – A Teachers Guide Class VIII” was released on the occasion by the guests.
The Secretary, NCERT, Major Harsh Kumar, proposed the vote of thanks appreciating the presence of all the student-participants and others present there.