3 June, 2018
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has initiated many innovative campaigns in this country like the Swacch Bharat movement as well as that of building toilets. He had in this March also given a call for Fit India movement, as part of his “Mann Ki Baat” address to the nation. True to his call, his recently appointed Sports Minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, himself a Silver medal winning Olympian shooter, kicked off a movement that seems to have caught on.
On the 22nd May this year, he tweeted a video on the popular social media platform Twitter, of himself doing pushups with a hashtag, #HumFitTohIndiaFit. He mentioned in the video that he was inspired by our ever-energetic PM, who works hard, but stays fit. Like the Ice Bucket Challenge that was started to create awareness about ALS, and had gone viral a while back, this challenge too quickly caught the young nation’s imagination.
In his tweet, Col. Rathore had challenged the Indian Cricket Caption Virat Kohli, actor Hrithik Roshan and Badminton player, Ms Saina Nehwal. This tweet of Col. Rathore got a tremendous response on Twitter and Hrithik became the first to accept the challenge. He posted a video of himself cycling to the office. In his response, Hrithik along with the fitness quotient also made a case for dumping the car and walking or jogging instead.
Soon Kohli picked it up and posted a video of himself doing complete knee bends, which happened to be his favourite core training program. He in turn also challenged, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his wife and actress Ms Anushka Sharma as well as ex- India cricket captain, MS Dhoni. Anushka, immediately posted a video of her workouts and the Prime Minister too has accepted his challenge.
With this started a downpour of sorts with many ministers from the PM’s cabinet like Mr Kiren Rijiju, Piyush Goyal and many others posting videos as well as many athletes and movie stars and all walks of life, including even a lot of ordinary people, are posting their videos with the hashtag #HumFitTohIndiaFit. To name a few, P V Sindhu, Babita Phogat, Vinesh Phogat, K L Rahul, Anupam Kher, Randeep Hooda, Anand Mahindra, Manoj Kumar, Suresh Raina, Deepika Padukone, Gautam Gambhir etc. are the ones who have already joined in and challenged others. The movement is growing every day.
The underlying message
The underlying message of this movement is that it is important to spread the message of fitness. Fitness is not necessarily doing push-ups or going to the gym and putting up a video. One can walk, jog, do aerobics or dance, do yoga, or any such activity. In order to be a part of the movement and to encourage fellow peers as well as the younger generation, you too can post a video about your fitness, using the #HumFitTohIndiaFit, with your fitness mantra, even if it is taking an evening walk. Have you seen our fitness pointers for senior women?
The Fit India challenge is about staying fit oneself as well as inspiring those around you to stay fit. For staying fit, it is important to follow some form of regular exercise. In fact, there are many para-athletes who have posted their fitness video as well. So, nothing stands in the way of fitness; age, job and busy schedules, loss of a limb, or some other form of disability, etc. are not dampeners on this and everyone can and should stay fit. And you can also become part of this movement if you want to. If you are not the social media type, you can still inspire others without posting videos on Twitter and you would still have done your job and met the goal of the Fitness India Initiative.
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