Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju called upon ministers and officers concerned from youth affairs and sports departments from all states and Union Territories, to mobilise a large number of volunteers as part of the Youth Ministry’s flagship schemes Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS) and also from Bharat Scouts and Guides to intensify India’s fight against coronavirus, as well as to create awareness about Atmanirbhar Bharat among the lowest rung of the society.

Rijiju shared these sentiments during a two-day video conference with all states and Uts to create a roadmap for sports and youth affairs-related issues.

“More than 60 lakh volunteers of NYKS and NSS were engaged as frontline Covid warriors as they created awareness, made and distributed masks and assisted citizens during the pandemic,” Rijiju said.

“Their active contribution has been richly lauded by representative of all states during the conference, and it has been jointly decided by the centre and all states that we will massively scale up the number of volunteers in the coming months.

“We have set a target of mobilising 1 crore plus volunteers under the Youth Ministry schemes. The volunteers will not only continue their fight against COVID-19 but will also help citizens gain benefit from Honourable PM’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he added.

During the conference, Rijiju also spoke of the relevance of the Fit India Movement during the coronavirus pandemic since staying Fit and building immunity are two key factors in defeating the virus.

“I urge all states to continue with Fit India activities online during COVID-19 and include common people in fitness-related activities,” Rijiju said.

“Enrolling schools as Fit India schools can also help to make fitness a way of life for students. There are a lot of parameters for a school to qualify as a Fit India school, but primary among them is the inclusion of mandatory fitness activities in the daily curriculum.

“Everyday fitness can help school-going children to build up their immunity in a big way.”

Rijiju also reviews the possibility of resumption of sporting activities in the various stated of India.

“The states will have to independently decide when they can start sports activities and training. However, I would urge all states to start some kind of sporting activities after 2 or 3 months, depending on the situation,” he said.

“We can start sporting events in a limited manner and for non-contact sports. There are some states that have opened up their sporting facilities and started some sports training. As the situation improves, we must attempt to bring on-field sport back,” he added.