In a revolutionary step aimed to inculcate the habit of fitness among school children, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be observing Fitness Week in the second and third Week of November, as part of the Fit India Movement. The objective of the Fitness Week is to bring about a behavorial change in school children from spending “Passive Screen Time” to “Active Field Time” – from moving them away from computer screens to open fields. This first-of-its-kind endeavour will see participation of 22000 CBSE schools from all over the country.Lauding the initiative, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C), said, “I am very happy to know that CBSE has decided to celebrate Fitness Week in all its affiliated schools. The Fit India Movement, envisioned by Honourable PM, is the need of the hour and we must make every effort to inculcate fitness habits in Indians from an early age. The Sports Ministry is in talks with education departments of all state governments and we will soon finalise the plan to observe Fitness Week in schools across the country in the last week of November.”
The extensive 6-day programme during the Fitness Week addresses both physical and mental fitness needs of children and goes beyond the usual form of physical exercises like yoga, free-hand and includes interesting forms of fitness like dance, aerobics and gardening, among others. Indigenous games from every state, such as Cowrie from Gujarat, Silamba from Tamil Nadu, Bante from Jammu and Kashmir, GulliDanda from Punjab, Pambaram from Kerala, will also be included in the fitness regime of children. Lectures by sports psychologists have been included to give children an insight into the importance of sports in character building and off-field stress management. Parents and teachers will compete with each other and with students in playing the indigenous games and also participate in the fitness activities undertaken in each school during the week.CBSE has also decided to assess the fitness levels of students from the age of 5 years to 16 years using the Khelo India Mobile App that has been developed by the Sports Authority of India. The App has inbuilt fitness tests for various age groups that helps to ascertain aspects such as flexibility, core strength and agility of students, the scores of which can then be used to identify students who have the prospect of taking up sport at the professional level.