Now Indian guru to do miracles in Nepal
Apr 5, 2007 - 12:37:29 PM

Kathmandu, April 5 - When Nepal's former deputy prime minister Amik Sherchan was arrested and jailed during King Gyanendra's direct rule, the 63-year-old had severe health problems.

Besides gastritis, Sherchan suffered from cervical spondylosis, the result of a neck fracture due to a police baton charge.

There was no medical treatment in the army barracks where he was detained along with several other top politicians. There was no TV, radio or even papers.

Then Lilamani Pokhrel, vice-chairman of Sherchan's People's Front party who was also in the same barracks, taught him a couple of yoga exercises.

These were exercises Pokhrel had picked up after watching on an Indian TV channel demonstrations by Swami Ramdev, the yoga guru who has become a craze in Nepal. Thousands swear they have been cured of various diseases by following his exercises.

'After being released, I watched Ramdev on TV to see if I was following the instructions correctly,' Sherchan had told IANS. 'Now I exercise half an hour every morning.'

By the end of this year, Sherchan and other yoga followers in Nepal may have recourse to the real thing without having to depend on television.

Around September-October, the fabled yogi is scheduled to make his first appearance in Nepal, holding a yoga camp and then founding an ashram in Kathmandu.

His deputy, Bal Krishna Acharya, paid a quick visit to the capital this week to scout for a place where the camp could be held.

Besides teaching breathing exercises, Ramdev's repertoire also includes prescribing ayurvedic medicines, traditional South Asian medicine culled from herbs.

Nepal, home to eight of the highest mountains in the world, is a treasure trove of Himalayan herbs, said to have extremely potent healing powers.

Om Bansal, a Nepali businessman and Ramdev follower who is also one of the local organisers of the yoga camp, said thousands had shown keen interest in attending the yoga camp.

'People want to follow a health regimen that requires no medicines,' Bansal said.

Videotapes of Ramdev's exercises are more popular in Nepal than Jane Fonda CDs.

Ramdev's popularity and clout was seen in October when his participation was the highlight of a UN programme across the world.

On Oct 16, the UN organised a STAND UP programme when millions across the globe stood up to remind world leaders about their commitment to end extreme poverty by 2015 and to set an official Guinness World Record for the most number protesting against poverty.

Ramdev was part of the programme, initiating STAND UP events across his 20,000 yoga training centres in India.

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