Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched Fit India Movement from the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi on the occasion of National Sports Day.

The movement has been launched with an objective to create awareness for good health in general public.

Addressing the audience, PM Modi remembered India’s one of the greatest hockey players Major Dhyan Chand, who was born on this day in 1905.

The Prime Minister said Dhyan Chand amazed the world with his fitness, stamina, and hockey stick.

Talking on the newly-launched Fit India campaign, Modi, who is viewed as a huge health enthusiast himself urged people to make fitness a part of their daily lives.

Addressing a large crowd of children who put up a grand show ahead of the launch at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here, Modi said: “We should make fitness our mantra for life.”

“Today lifestyle diseases are on a rise in India affecting even the young. But small lifestyle changes can prevent these lifestyle diseases. Fit India Movement is an effort to bring these small lifestyle changes,” Modi said.

The PM further said that the campaign may have been started by the Government but it is the people who have to lead it and make it a success.

At a colourful ceremony, which included a presentation of India’s indigenous martial art forms, dances and sports, Modi said technology has contributed to a sedentary lifestyle.

“With time fitness has been relegated a lower priority in our society, where a person used to walk or cycle for kilometres, today mobile apps have to tell us how many steps we walked,” PM Modi said.

Fitness is not just a word but an essential pillar to a healthy and prosperous life, he added.

The Prime Minister also administered a fitness pledge, inviting all Indians to join in.

Ahead of the event launch, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju tweeted: “Tremendous supports are coming from all sections of the society to participate in the Fit India Movement to be launched by PM Narendra Modiji…

“Chief Ministers, corporates and many icons are taking amazing steps to make the programme a grand success.”

Meanwhile, all the states have been requested to make necessary arrangements for the live telecast of the event in all schools and encourage maximum participation of students and teachers in taking the ‘fitness pledge’.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked higher educational institutes to make necessary arrangements for students, faculty and staff to watch the programme live.

The Fit India campaign is supported by several national sports icons including World Badminton champion PV Sindhu, sprinter Hima Das along with celebrated wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik.

“I am taking the pledge, are you guys ready to take the pledge,” PV Sindhu said, in a video released by Sports Authority of India on August 27, encouraging followers to take out some time every day to keep fit.

PM Modi, in his monthly address Mann ki Baat on August 25 too, had requested the citizens to be a part of the Fit India movement.

He had said that he wanted to see his listeners fit and make them “fitness-conscious”.