During his first address to the UN General Assembly in September last year, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed the International Yoga Day. Later in December, United Nations declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga, with 177 countries voting in favour of the resolution.
21st June was chosen being the longest day of the year when the Earth is nearest in distance from the Sun and is also considered Birthday of Yoga. International Day of Yoga was observed on 21st June’15 in 192 countries where millions of Yoga enthusiasts performed the camel, cobra and other postures as part of the 35 minute collective exercise programme. In New Delhi, the event of International Day of Yoga was awarded two records by the Guinness Book of World Records. Firstly with the most number of individuals, 35985 people, performing yoga at a single venue and secondly with participants belonging to 84 nationalities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi a yoga practitioner, led from the front and demonstrated the postures to the students around him. He believes that 21st of June, the International Day of Yoga, is not just the beginning of a day but the beginning of a new age through which we will achieve greater heights of peace, goodwill and train the human spirit.
International Day of Yoga was also organized in Sudan by the Embassy of India. It was held at Omdurman Indian Club, Omdurman at 7:30 in the morning on 21st June’15. The event started with the Prime Minister’s video message followed by Ambassador H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma’s welcome remarks. All 21 postures as per the guidelines of the event were collectively practiced by the gathering of almost 200 people. A few Sudanese friends of India also participated in the event. All the local Indian Associations namely Omdurman Indian Community, Sudan-India Friendship Association, India-Sudan Friendship Society and Kerala Cultural Activity Centre were actively involved in the celebrations and extended their whole hearted support for the event. The participants included members of Indian Community, Indian Public Sector Units based in Khartoum and members of the Indian Embassy along with their families. It is also reported that BHEL, India’s Public Sector Unit at Kosti also participated in the Yoga day.
Ambassador Sanjay Kumar Verma expressed his thanks to all the participants and the friendly countries for their overwhelming support in making International Day for Yoga a global event. He wished that all countries may coexist and keep progressing with peace and harmony which was the purpose of the day. He also expressed his views about Yoga and stressed that four ‘beings’ are very important namely physical, mental, psychological and spiritual. Yoga attempts to unify these four and bring harmony and peace.
If you ask an Indian what is ICC, the answer that you will get is International Cricket Council. Besides India has been consistently objecting to the Hague-based International Criminal Court. Interestingly, even USA, Russia and China are not members of ICC. President Omar al-Bashir is welcome to attend the India Africa Summit in New Delhi on 29th October’15
Government invites Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir for the India-Africa Summit – timesofindia-economictimes.
Did you know that there are 2 Sudanese restaurants in Pune, a city in Western India? These restaurants which serve Sudanese food were set up because of the large number of Sudanese students studying in the Universities in Pune. Presently there are 7000 Sudanese students studying in various Universities in India mainly in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Students have taken admission in these Universities primarily through word of mouth from the huge base of 32000 Sudanese who have graduated from Universities in India. Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma inaugurated the Indian Education Expo an exhibition of Indian universities organized by Chartered Exhibition & Media Private Limited (CEMPL) at the premise of the Old Embassy of India in Khartoum on 13th June. Ambassador Verma said that this exhibition is a small step to create awareness about the high standards of education available in India. He advised the Universities to include an English Proficiency Course for the Sudanese students. Presently there are difficulties in transferring money from Sudan to India but both the Governments are engaged in finding a solution soon. The Ambassador of India said that professional courses particularly post graduate courses in Food Technology, Dairy Technology, Agricultural Engineering, Pharmacy and Nursing would have good demand in Sudan but the Universities should be continuously engaged in such activities and have exhibitions even outside Khartoum in Port Sudan, Gadarif, Al Obeid and other cities.
The Universities who are participating at the Expo are Aditya Educational Institutions, Andhra; Krupanidhi Group of Institutions, Bangalore; Karnataka College Group of Institutions, Bangalore; SHIATS, Allahabad; University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur. This exhibition is being attended by many Sudanese students who are aspiring to study their preferred academic stream in India. It was interesting to meet a Sudanese national Dr.Mohamed Saad Bayumi who seemed emotional having met his professors from his alma mater of Dharwad at the exhibition. Mr. Kapil Suri of Jodhpur National University shared that he has hired a Nigerian Chef because they have a large number of Nigerian students. He is open to this idea for students from Sudan. After all food is an important factor to make the students feel at home.Our Ambassador H.E.Shri Sanjay Kumar Verma added that about 500 inquiries were generated.200 of tem have possibility of enrollment in the participating universities from India. This is close to 8% of annual intake of Sudanese students in India. Did you know that according to a conservative estimate, Sudanese students contribute about $50 million annually to the education providers in India?
My dear friends in Sudan, I am posting this picture of your favourite actor Amitabh Bachchan. I know it is difficult to recognize him but he is into the skin of his character. This scene is from his recent film ‘Piku’ where he puts in effort to act his own age of 70. (He actually is 73). He plays the role of a retired father from my ‘tribe’ with the same name as you pronounce Baskar (although I always insist on the ‘h’ which you prefer to keep it silent since there is no ‘Bh’ in Arabic). But the director of the movie Piku further complicates the name with an ‘o’ as ‘Bhaskor’. But in the early years of his career Amitabh Bachchan played a character with the same name in ‘Anand’ circa1971 but there it was Bhaskar not Bhaskor. Interestingly in both Piku and Anand, Big B’s reel name was Bhaskar Banerjee. Seems to be a popular name for Bengali film makers. P.S. I notice that of late because of the Piku effect some Indian friends are referring to me as Bhaskor to whom I would like to remind that I don’t suffer from ’Constipation’.