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Sushma Swaraj arrives in US to preside over Yoga Day event at UN

PTI 20 Jun 2015, 20:31:43 IST

New York:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here today to preside over the International Yoga Day celebrations in the United Nations as well as across the city.

Swaraj, who arrived early in the morning, was received by Indian Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji at the airport.

She will be joined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and several other diplomats at the commemoration at the UN headquarters tomorrow.

Swaraj will preside over the two-hour commemoration next day at the world body to be attended by hundreds, including school children from India and the UN International School.

She will be representing India as the country which had initiated the idea of having an annual international yoga day.

Swaraj, along with the UN Chief and the UNGA President, would then head to Times Square where an estimated 30,000 people would participate Yoga and where the UN celebrations would also be broadcast live on the giant electric screens.

Apart from her participation at the UN headquarters, Swaraj is expected to attend a lecture and demonstration of Yoga at the Hindu Temple Society of North American and at an event at Lincoln Centre featuring Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The United Nations had in December last year declared June 21 as International Yoga Day.

The proposal had been mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first address to the UN General Assembly in September last year.