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Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, has been finalised to host the main event of the International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate. Earlier, the government was considering Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Ranchi and Bengaluru as possible venues for the mega event besides the Uttar Pradesh capital, officials said. A team of Ayush Ministry officials visited Lucknow last week and shortlisted Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan, Baudh Vihar Shanti Upvan and Janeshwar Mishra Park as possible venues for the third edition of IDY, they said. "The main event of the International Day of Yoga, which falls on June 21, will be organised in Lucknow," the official said. "Though the city has been finalised, the venue where the function will take place is yet to be decided.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) will take a call in this regard," he said. The ministry is also planning to organise a major yoga event in at least one city in each district across the country, even as programmes in Paris, London and New York among other world cities are likely to be held. "It could well be more than one city in a district which means the celebrations will take place in over 700 places across the country this year," the Ayush Ministry official said. He added that around 150 countries are expected to participate in the mega event, with Indian Missions in those nations coordinating the activities to be held on June 21. "IDY will be observed at some of the major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Trafalgar Square in London and the Central Gardens in New York among others," he said. The ministry on its official website has requested the people visiting the web page related to IDY to make a pledge to make Yoga an integral part of their daily life. So far around 2.6 lakh people have pledged to make Yoga an integral part of their daily life, the official said. The first IDY celebration was organised at Rajpath in New Delhi on June 21, 2015 in which representatives of 191 countries had participated. Last year, the main function took place in Chandigarh. The United Nations General Assembly, heeding to a call by Prime Minister Modi, had made a declaration in December 2014 to observe June 21 every year as IDY.
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