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Even though India is the country from which our beloved practice hails, it can be a chaotic, stressed-out place. It’s hot, crowded, and has a lot of cars on the road: a perfect recipe for road rage. In response to unsafe and hostile driving by local taxi and bus drivers, the transport department in Kolkata, in East India,came up with a very Indian solution. Yoga and meditation classes are going to be offered to all taxi and bus drivers. Transport minister Madan Mitra is aiming to make these classes required in the near future.
“The excessive heat and humidity is affecting drivers,” said Mitra, according to a recent article in The Times of India. “It leads to rash driving which results in accidents.”
Mitra met with Indian yogi Rajashree Choudhury this week to discuss the implementation of the program. At the end of June, Mitra is also planning two large-scale public yoga exhibitions in Kolkata to introduce yoga to bus and taxi drivers. “We have roped in Projapita Bhrahmakumari who will start conducting the meditation sessions for bus drivers in all bus depots from the end of this month,” says Mitra. “It will help soothe their minds.”
In an ironic twist, India may actually be taking a cue from the United States with this model. Director of LaGuardia Community College’s educational program for taxi drivers, Andrew Vollo, has been teaching yoga to taxi drivers for nearly a decade.