Part of the Rajpath turnout will also be approximately 5,000 participants each from guru Ramdev’s organisations, Art of Living, paramilitary forces, Delhi schools and NCC. There will be 1,000 from Isha Foundation and 2,000 from Gayatri Parivar apart from bureaucrats, ministers and guests from abroad.
How much this ambitious Guinness effort will cost the public exchequer, though, is another question. The AYUSH Ministry puts the expenditure at Rs 30 crore. The Ministry of External Affairs will not give a figure; minister Sushma Swaraj has said the expenses are being borne out of the publicity budget of embassies and will go towards “increasing India’s soft power”, so there is no need to talk about it in isolation.
The real expenses, however, are of publicity, with the intensive campaign launched by Prasar Bharti and the information and broadcasting ministry being unofficially pegged at Rs 100-odd crore. AYUSH is issuing ads and has started sending bulk messages urging people to take up yoga.
There will also be non-government events. According to Ishwar V Vasavaraddi, director of the Morarji Desai Yoga Institute that is the nerve centre of the preparations, former and present pupils alone are organising several hundred small yoga camps in their respective localities. Sports complexes of the Delhi Development Authority have put up banners for events and there is at least one in the works even in the air — SpiceJet in association with Isha Foundation will organise a ten-minute yoga session on 14 of its flights on June 21.
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