The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for giving more weightage to sports in admissions to educational institutions and in providing employment as it would encourage youngsters to participate in sports activities.
Addressing the sportspersons from Punjab University who won in the recently held Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar, Shri Naidu said that India despite its size and population was lagging in international events such as Olympics because not enough attention was paid to sports earlier.
Calling upon all educational institutions in the country to nurture the culture of sports among children from a very young age, the Vice President opined that making sports as a compulsory subject in Schools and Colleges was the best way forward to promote sporting culture.
Describing various benefits of participating in sports, Naidu said that any form of physical exercise would not only keep youth fit but would also improve their concentration levels.
Sports instill a feeling of social cohesion, team spirit and self confidence among the youth. “It teaches you to accept defeat gracefully. If you are physically fit, you’ll be mentally alert”, the Vice President told the young athletes of Punjab University.
He called for coordinated efforts of the government, society, and educational institutions to encourage children to take up sports as a regular profession.
Appreciating the Government for launching programs such as Khelo India, Fit India, Yoga, Naidu sought the involvement of every citizen, especially youth, and educational institutions to transform them into mass campaigns to make India healthy. These programs should become people’s movement, he said.
Maintaining that for the country to become economically strong, its population should be physically fit, the Vice President called upon each and every citizen to contribute towards nation’s progress and become partners of its development.
Emphasizing the need to promote Yoga or any form of regular physical activity to fight the spread of lifestyle diseases, Naidu also highlighted the need for mankind to return to nature. He wanted the people to spend more time in the lap of nature.
IV Subbarao, Secretary to Vice President, Professor Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University and faculty members were present along with the participants from Punjab University at Khelo India University Games at the event.