New Delhi: A conference of Ministers and Secretaries of the States and Union Territories in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports was held in New Delhi on Friday.
In his inaugural address, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports(I/C) Kiren Rijiju called for collective efforts of the centre and the states in making India a fit nation and encouraging the sporting culture in the country. He said that India is a young nation, and we have to channelise the energy of youth for the national development.
Talking about the Fit India Movement, Rijiju said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched it on 29th August, 2019, and it aims to make fitness an integral part of daily life of Indians, by encouraging them to participate in Fitness events/activities. He said that Fit India Movement would involve all Indians, covering all aspects having a bearing on fitness and healthy living, like physical fitness, mental fitness, healthy lifestyle, healthy eating habits and balanced diet, preventive health care and environment friendly living. It should become a citizen movement. He said that the Prime Minister has already directed all central ministries to make Fit India a part of their programmes.
On the Khelo India programme, the Minister said that the initiative has started yielding results. In last 6 months, Indian sportspersons have shown better results, indicating that India is emerging as a sporting powerhouse.
Rijiju said that the country should aim to be among the top ten performers in the 2028 Olympics games. He called upon the states to give sports priority in their scheme of things, and create sports culture. He said that winning is not the ultimate thing, participation is. He said that there is need to bring about change in thinking of people about sports. It should not remain the extra-curricular activity, but an excellent curricular activity. On the issue of Sports and fitness equipment being in the highest tax bracket in the GST, he called upon the states to take it up with their respective finance ministers who can then make recommendations to the GST council to lower the tax burden.