Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a BJP leader and lawyer, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) asking the Centre and the Delhi government to make “Health and Yoga Science” an obligatory element of the curriculum up to class 8 for children’s overall development.
The right to health (Article 21) and the right to education (Article 21A), according to the petitioner, are complimentary and additional to one another. As a result, under the spirit of S.29 of the RTE Act 2009, it is the state’s responsibility to make “Health and Yoga Science” an obligatory element of the curriculum up to class 8.
Article 21 guarantees the right to health, which encompasses prevention, protection, and improvement of health, and is a minimum condition for children to live in dignity.
According to Upadhyay, the state not only has a constitutional commitment to teach “Health and Yoga Education” to children, but also to ensure the establishment and maintenance of conditions conducive to good health.
The petitioner claimed that since the RTE Act was passed, the study of health and yoga science has become a right for children aged 6 to 14.
However, it is the most ignored subject and is just mentioned by name on papers. Health and Yoga Science get no marks in the annual exam, and even teachers at Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Schools claim it is not a required subject, he claims.
He also stated that the NCERT has not yet issued standard textbooks for students in classes 1 through 8. As a result, without a curriculum, standard textbooks, trained teachers, and mark evaluation, providing health and yoga instruction in the spirit of NCF 2005 has been a complete failure.
“Marks are not awarded for Health and Yoga Science in annual exam. Yoga is not only an excellent and powerful means of self-control but also an emotional and practical process for diverting the flow of our thought arising in our mind in any state towards a positive direction as well as an excellent method of developing the life skills. In every person there are on one hand, limitless divine qualities and potential of becoming a superman, a scientist, a philosopher, a thinker or an administrator; while on the other hand, there are impure cruel thoughts, which can make him an extremely ruthless beast, a devil, a criminal or a terrorist.”
According to the PIL, there is a complete contrast between actual practicing yoga and the ideal, as articulated by the Prime Minister in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.