Mon Jun 15, 2015 | 19:54 IST

#Bhopal  #Madhya Pradesh As the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan along with his government machinery is pitching for the World Yoga Day on June 21, extensively; the seven yet to be started yoga centres, meant for the treatment of Bhopal gas tragedy victims are telling a different story altogether.

Initially established by Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation (BGTRR) department and later handed to Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), several of these centres (Yog-Sah Sfoorti Kendra) are being used as marriage halls, municipal ward offices or simply deserted by the corporation, barring the one at Chauksey Nagar where yoga classes run daily for two hours.

One of the senior volunteers working for gas tragedy victims, Abdul Jabbar told News18 that most of the gas victims suffer from breathing problems and yoga therapy would be more than useful to such patients, according to a central government finding of the past.

The seven centres established by the BGTRR in mid-2013 could have been handy for around 60% gas tragedy victims which are around three lakh in the State capital. “Not a single centre is imparting yoga therapy at present,” Jabbar said, adding that he had written letters to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan twice in April and June for starting these yoga centres on World Yoga Day but his missives could not evoke any response, he lamented.

In Chouhan

Rachna Dhingra from Bhopal Group for Information and Action, devoted for ensuring rights to the 1984 gas tragedy victims, told News18, “Now that these buildings are lying empty and there is no yoga happening anywhere. BGTRR has come up with a better plan that they will give these buildings to Sports Department and will bring in fitness equipments such as tread mils and weights. Cores of money will be wasted on this exercise.”

This is how out of touch BGTRR is about the needs of Bhopal gas victims, she alleged.

Initially 36 yoga centers were proposed for 36 gas affected wards and the total cost of these would come to around 3.68 crore. Then in 2012 BGTRR without consulting GOI (from whom they got the money from) decided that it would be better to build 7 yoga centres in 7 gas affected zones.

Despite several attempts, mayor Alok Sharma and BMC commissioner Tejaswi S. Nayak could not be reached for comments on the pathetic condition of the yoga centres.

Status of yoga centres (Information compiled by gas tragedy volunteer organisations)

  1. Chouksay Nagar: Yoga classes take place for two hours

  2. Vajpayee Nagar (Idgah Hills): Empty Building

  3. Shabri Nagar, Raslakhedi: Local corporator rents it out for marriages. Also at the time of the disaster no one really lived here and gas did not affect this area

  4. Central Library: This has the office of Rajay Beema Dispensary, but no yoga

5.Rajendar Nagar: Empty Building

  1. Shahenshah Garden: Could not be traced. Apparently it has been occupied by some local residents

  2. Jeevan Jyoti Colony: Empty building