Promoting yoga beyond religion in isles

Mohd. Iqbal has been continuously teaching yoga since 2011 to school children and about 90 children are presently attending classes at GSS Junglighat
Report by: 
NITISH KUMAR TIWARI
Port Blair
23 Sep 2018

At a time when serious efforts were being made by some sections to create communal disharmony in the society, came this Yoga instructor, a teacher in Education Department, Mohd. Iqbal, committed to his mission to teach yoga to school children. His mantra is ‘Yoga Beyond Religion’ as he took up the mission to teach yoga to school children of Junglighat and nearby locations in the playground of Secondary School, Junglighat. His commitment towards his mission has earned him the prestigious President Medal and the National Teachers’ Award for his devotion towards the society. In 2011, after successfully completing his ‘Referee Training’ from the Borada city of Gujarat, he started teaching yoga to the students. On being asked what inspired him to teach yoga to these children, Iqbal asserted that one day while passing through the Junglighat Fisher colony, he saw a group of children from the community sitting ideal in front of their homes, literally doing nothing. He asked the children why they are sitting ideal? the children replied that since their parents have gone to sell the daily fish catch, they have nothing to do except to wait till they return. Here came the inspiration for Iqbal to teach yoga to these children. Iqbal immediately got the necessary permission from the school authority and started yoga classes for the children. “These children after their school hours come to the yoga class. It is good that instead of wasting their valuable time in homes, these children are learning yoga which will not only keep them physically fit but will also help them develop concentration towards their studies, asserted Iqbal.
Under the guidance and training of Iqbal, several yoga teams from the Islands had participated in school games held under the aegis of School Games Federation of India at Delhi and other places of the country. He recounts that for the first time when the Islands team participated in the school games at the national level, the Islands team stood in the 11th position, but in the previous year, the Island team were at 8th position. His yoga classes has helped the students to developed better yoga skills as many of his students have won medals in several Inter-School completions, organized in the Islands. Iqbal teach yoga to children of all age group and his timing is from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm.