Government to institute ‘Yoga medals’ for paramilitary troops

With the country set to celebrate the second International Yoga Day on June 21, the government has proposed instituting ‘Yoga medals’ for central paramilitary troops for displaying exceptional skills in the ancient discipline for physical, mental and spiritual well being.

Besides, it has also planned to re-employ retiring personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces as Master Yoga Trainers in order to create a constant resource pool of teachers for about 9 lakh personnel of CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB and BSF.

The two decisions were taken at a meeting attended by top officers of these forces and the Union Home Ministry recently where it was resolved that close to 30,000 personnel will take part in IYD in various state capitals and other prominent cities.

In Chandigarh, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lead the IYD event, over 2,000 troops, largely drawn from the Indo-Tibetan order Police, will participate. As per a blueprint prepared in this regard, also accessed by PTI, a committee has been formed under country’s largest paramilitary CRPF which will “suggest modalities” for awarding Yoga medals to those personnel who have “excelled” in not only performing the various ‘aasanas’ deftly but also having a good track record as a Yoga teacher.

Each of these forces, the Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Border Security Force, ITBP and Sashastra Seema Bal, have been asked to “identify” such personnel. It is also essential that those selected for the medal display their skills during the IYD this year. The forces have been directed to provide inputs with regard to Master Yoga Trainers in their respective establishments who could be decorated with the medal.

These troops are deployed for rendering a variety of internal security duties in the country including border guarding and conducting anti-Naxal operations. Government decorates these troops with various types of bravery medals like President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, Police Medal for Gallantry, PM’s Life Saving Medal and Internal Security Medal among others.

Another decision taken at the meeting was to offer paramilitary personnel retiring in the near future the option of becoming Master Yoga Trainers as a post-retirement assignment. The forces have also been asked to prepare an “e-book” that will cover all activities undertaken by them for “promotion” of Yoga and about the activities conducted by them on IYD.

The Home Ministry has asked the forces to provide to it information about the total number of Master Yoga Trainers, Yoga Trainers and all men and women trained till now in the skill. The personnel have been asked to follow the common dress code of white T-shirts and black track pants so they are “distinctly visible” from the civilian participants during IYD.

Apart from Chandigarh, the personnel will perform yogic aasanas and pranayams in Srinagar, Jammu, Shimla, Lucknow, Patna, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Agartala, Gangtok, Imphal, Kohima, Itanagar, Aizawl, Dehradun, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Chennai, Bengaluru, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi.

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