Mumbai: While the entire country was tying itself into knots on International Yoga Day, which was celebrated on Thursday with great aplomb, students of civic-run schools in the city had to be virtually dragged out of bed. They admitted that they had been forcibly woken from sleep by their parents and ordered to attend the ‘yoga session’ in their school.  Rajda Municipal School in Borivali, run by the BMC, had students yawning and making clumsy movements during the ‘asanas.’ Normally, they look forward to school, but Thursday was different.

Priya Khairwar, 9, a class IV student, said she was not aware of any such event and was asked to attend by her parents. “My mother said there will be a surprise at our school and ejected me out of the house. There was no pleasant surprise; instead, we were made to stretch as we do in our physical training period,” she said. Another student of Nityanand Marg Municipal School in Andheri said he was suffering from severe cough and yet his parents sent him to school for the yoga day. “I got drenched at the weekend and had fallen sick. I had not attended school for two days but today my mother made me go. I am still feeling weak,” said Ankush Vishwakarma, who studies in class V.

Meanwhile, BMC claims around 1.5 lakh students and 15,000 teachers from civic schools performed yoga on the occasion.  “Around 44 different locations were chosen to conduct yoga sessions for about 45 minutes in every civic-run school. This year, almost 1.5 lakh students along with 15,000 teachers and sub-staff took part and performed various asanas,” said Mahesh Palkar, education officer. The United Nations, in 2014, declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga after PM Modi called for the day to be adopted as a global celebration of yoga, an ancient practice that began in India more than 5,000 years ago. Thousands observed the day with public sessions of yoga and meditation across the country.