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Through Fit India Campaign we are trying to make children both mentally and physically healthy: Kiren Rijiju

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New Delhi: Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju interacted with students here today under the Fit India campaign by the Government of India. Olympic medal winner badminton player Ms P.V Sindhu and Indian football team Captain Shri. Sunil Chhetri were also present at the launch of “Fit Hai To Hit Hai India” program organized under the Fit India campaign. During this live interaction, all the dignitaries held detailed talks on being fit and enumerated the importance of fitness.The Fit India Talks sessions are being organized in association with the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal said that a lot of people have joined the Fit India campaign launched by the Government of India in a very short time. On the clarion call of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, people have undertook the fitness mission in their everyday life. The Minister informed that Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) also announced in April that it would launch a new series of fitness sessions for school going children in the Fit India Active Day program under this campaign. 13,868 schools affiliated to CBSE have participated in various Fit India programs and 11,682 schools have also received the Fit India flag.She Pokhriyal said that during the pandemic, it is very important that we all stay fit and motivate students to stay fit and the battle against this disease can be won only by staying fit. A fit person’s immunity keeps him away from all kinds of diseases. The Minister hoped that that students across the country will also incorporate fitness and healthy habits into their lives.

Addressing the students in this special dialogue, Shri Rijiju said that our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has always inspired all the countrymen to stay fit. If India will remain fit only then India will move forward. In this direction, we not only started the Fit India campaign, but also highlighted the importance of yoga in the world. The Minister informed that Government have started connecting the children with fitness. Children are the future of our country and through this campaign we are trying to make them both mentally and physically healthy. Many fitness icons have joined this campaign to motivate students and encourage them to remain healthy and fit.

Shri Rijiju said,“Fit India is becoming people’s movement in the truest sense. Majority of our 1.3 billion population consist of school children. In the last 8-9 months, 2.5 lakh schools have registered under Fit India. Without the help of Shri. Nishank, this wouldn’t have happened. Together, we attended functions in launching the Fit India School Week. Our Prime Minister’s vision is to create a fit nation and the movement is growing very well. We have a committed team in our ministry and multiple sports stars are taking forward this movement. On August 29 this year, we will complete one year of Fit India’s launch. In this one year, we can show where we have reached. It has been a complete people’s movement.”

Shri Kiren Rijiju added that,“If you are not physically fit, everything else becomes futile. Therefore, it is very necessary to do yoga or normal exercise and play sports. Those who can’t play sports can stay fit. India has a rich tradition of sports but unfortunately we couldn’t create a culture. Our campaigns like the plog run have become big successes and going forward, there are more coming. After 8-9 years, we can see ourselves become a complete fit nation. There is lots of enthusiasm among youth to stay fit and I am happy everyone has accepted the Fit India movement as a universal campaign.”

The Sports Minister also revealed that the Government is doing its best to ensure India is among the top 10 countries at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Shri  Rijiju said,“Olympics is the biggest event on the planet. When India doesn’t win a medal or figure in the rankings, it really hurts. When Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi set up the Olympic task force, I closely studied it and after becoming Sports Minister, I set a target that by 2028 India must be in the top 10 and it is achievable. There is a series of planning programs going behind it from scouting, talent identification, customized training, exposure trips, all the possible facilities, getting the top coaches in the world. We have made a big base through Khelo India and through many other processes we have started the talent identification. We are going to start a Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Junior besides the already existing TOPS senior. We are going to start for the juniors as well for the 10-12 year olds. If we can identify the potential, Govt will take full care of them in grooming, so that they are ready by the time for 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles. If the Govt takes them under their tutelage, then their parents will not have any worries. This is a dream for India to be in top 10. We have all the potential, support, aspirations of the people and we have to be united. PM created the task force with this vision and recommendations have come and we are in the process of implementation. I am very confident that India will be in top 10 in 2028 Los Angeles. I am saying this with full commitment and preparation and after great thought.”

2016 Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu stressed the importance of sports for school children. “You have to enjoy sports instead of thinking about winning and losing. From grassroots to schools, getting into some kind of sport is really important. If you cannot train for hours, even half an hour or 45 mins is good enough for any age. Studies will go a lot more in your mind. Fitness is very important for every sport and I must say endurance, agility and weight training is important along with mental and physical exercise,” Sindhu said.

Sunil Chhetri, the Indian football team skipper, meanwhile requested the parents to support their children if they want to choose sports as a career. “My request to parents is please support your child in whichever sport he or she wants to play. My parents supported me so that’s why I could express myself. Play, enjoy and think about your body. The moment you start playing, you start being disciplined. The moment you start being disciplined, you start being better. The moment you think better, you will be good in everything that you do. When you play sports, you can do anything better.  There is nothing that can teach you more than sports. We have become better persons because of sports. So don’t neglect it. If you play, you’re going to be better in every way. Also, eat more what you need and less what you enjoy. Everyone can play but nobody can follow monotonous food habits. A very important thing is food and sleep in our industry. If you want to be a top athlete, good sleep and food is utmost necessary. Going to the gym and playing sports is easy but being disciplined in what you eat and sleep makes you the best,” Chhetri said.

The session was moderated by sports commentator Manish Batavia. The Fit India Talks sessions are being organized in association with the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

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