What are satellites used for? You’re probably thinking weather forecasts, spying on enemies, communications, GPS systems. Right? Wrong! The Indian government has discovered another use of the multimillion-dollar devices. When International Yoga Day is here on June 21, the Ayush ministry has requested ISRO to take satellite images of the event between 7 am and 8 am, across India. The reason? To properly estimate how many participants for the event.
Rajesh Kotecha, the Special Secretary of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy), said that the ISRO chief has not yet sent a formal reply to the request.
“As per our estimates, about 10 crore people had participated last year across the globe. We are expecting nearly 100% increase this year,” Ayush minister Shripad Yesso Naik told Hindustan Times.
The ministry also developed a yoga protocol for women over 40 years, after consulting with the Indian Menopause Society. “We are taking into account health conditions of peri-, pre- or post-menopausal women. The postures will help them deal with the changes their bodies are undergoing,” said Kotecha.
The first International Yoga Day was held in 2015. Since then a large number of people have observed the day. It is not clear how much resource is required to use a satellite to take images of people working out, or if there’s any cost involved at all, but going the length to get the participating number is a bit of a stretch.