Mumbai: BMC to resume yoga training in wards with lukewarm response

The civic body is taking various steps to better the health of Mumbaikars. In its 2022-23 budget, it announced the opening of the HBT clinics and Shiv Yoga Kendras

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 02:15 AM IST
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Representative Image | PTI

Mumbai: The civic body is taking various steps to better the health of Mumbaikars. In its 2022-23 budget, it announced the opening of the HBT clinics and Shiv Yoga Kendras. The yoga centres were started across the city on World Yoga Day, with 133 centres in 24 wards currently operational, imparting training to 167 batches of citizens.

However, the response in some wards has been lukewarm. As per data, only 30% of beneficiaries have learned yoga since June 2022 at the yoga centres in D ward which comprises Malabar Hill, Tardeo and Grant Road areas. Senior officials said there are several reasons for the poor response in these areas and citizens from higher societies might feel awkward visiting a BMC yoga centre. The poor response has resulted in all five yoga centres in the area being shut down.

Citizens of D ward cited various reasons for their absence, including having to go to the office in the morning or dropping off their children at school. A civic official said at least 25-30 people are needed to conduct a session for which the instructor is paid Rs4000. “The centres were started in June 2022. Initially, people didn't come forward due to the monsoons and three centres had to be shut down within three months. We waited for another two months for people to join but were forced to shut down the two remaining centres as well,” the official said, adding that this was done as the BMC was losing funds paying the instructors.

A senior official from the civic health department said these areas mostly have people living in high-rise societies who are already attending yoga classes at institutions or gyms. “There is a need for proper awareness at yoga centres in D ward as it is the first time BMC has taken such an initiative which has received a good response in other wards of the city. We are planning to restart these centres soon for which meetings are underway,” he said.

Apart from the D ward, there is also a lack of response from citizens in the M-East ward which covers areas like Govandi. Only one session is currently active with 28 people being trained. Moreover, since June 2022, only a total of 238 people have come forward for the yoga sessions. “The response in this is low as most of it comprises slums,” said a senior ward officer.

BMC's executive health officer, Dr Mangala Gomare said, “Over 12,000 citizens have benefited at these yoga centres and we are expecting numbers to increase in the coming days as the civic body is providing all the facilities for yoga free of cost. We are providing an instructor and place free of cost. If there is a space issue, we are also providing schools premises that can be used free of cost.”

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