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Yoga is a potent weapon to counter violence in Caribbean schools

On the occasion of International Yoga Day, the Trinidad Ministry of Education has been urged to introduce yoga in the school curriculum. The international Yoga Day will be celebrated at 10 locations including key campuses.

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Just 5 days remaining for the International Yoga day and the world seems to be ready to celebrate it at an even bigger scale than its debut last year. The latest news is trickling from the Caribbean where Rolston Nelson, the acting Chief Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice, has urged the Trinidad Ministry of Education to introduce yoga in the school curriculum saying Yoga can be the antidote to violence.

Nelson was delivering the keynote address at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel marking the launch of Yoga Day. Referring to rising incidents of crime, Nelson said: “If benefit of Yoga spreads among the population then we would be living in a much more humane and gentle society. I look forward to the Ministry of Education paying more to the science of Yoga.”

Across the world, International Yoga Day will be observed on June 21. In Trinidad and Tobago, the second International Yoga Day will be observed between June 18 and 26 at 10 locations, including the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus and Divali Nagar.

Deoroop Teemal, Chairman of the International Day of Yoga Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (IDYCTT) revealed that 12 yoga groups will be participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations this year.

According to Indian High Commissioner Gauri Shankar Gupta, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is partnering with the Ministry of Health, the United Nations and the IDYCTT. A staggering 60 schools will hold Yoga classes in September, he said.

Quoting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the High Commissioner said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian traditions. It embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment, harmony between man and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change”.

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“We would be happy to go into the high-risk schools and teach Yoga. At the end of the day, we would have healthier children. We are appealing to the government to come forward and cooperate with us.”

Yvonne Lewis, Director of Health Education Division, Ministry of Health, said Yoga can keep one’s body active.

Referring to the risks of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and stroke faced by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Lewis said: “These diseases account for over 60% deaths every year. And 70% of these diseases can be prevented by a simple daily practice of yoga.”

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