NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir woman footballer Afshan Ashiq, who hit the headlines in 2017 as a stone-pelter in Srinagar, will be among some top sportspersons of the country who will interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Fit India Dialogue session on Thursday.
Goalkeeper Ashiq will join the likes of Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, two-time Paralympic gold medallist javelin-thrower Devendra Jhajharia, and health and fitness influencer Milind Soman, among others, for the interaction.
“This interaction, which is set to take place online, will see participants share their own stories and their take on how they maintain fitness along their journey. Prime Minister Modi will also share his own take on health and fitness with the aforementioned influencers,” the All India Football Federation said in a release.
“This online dialogue will see a conversation on nutrition, wellness and other facets of fitness as well, as fitness has become an important aspect of life in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will look to put behind the controversial short-run decision in their IPL opener and start afresh when they take on Virat Kohli’s buoyant Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. In their opening game against Delhi Capitals, the square-leg umpire erroneously called KXIP’s Chris Jordan for a ‘short run’, effectively costing his team the closely fought game.
A fan outside the Sharjah Cricket Stadium got lucky as he was able to take home the cricket ball that MS Dhoni sent out of the stadium with a six during Chennai Super Kings’ IPL-13 match against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old played as a goalkeeper in J&K women’s football team and later played in the Indian Women’s League in 2019 for FC Kolhapur City. She also trains youngsters in Srinagar.
To inspire people for joining the movement, the Prime Minister said that Fit India Movement may have been started by the government but it is the people who have to lead it and make it a success.
“Success is related to fitness, success stories of all of our icons from any field of life have a common thread- most of them are fit, have a focus on fitness and are fond of fitness.
“Technology has reduced our physical ability and has robbed us of our daily fitness routines and today we are unaware of our traditional practises and lifestyle which could keep us fit. With time, fitness has been relegated a lower priority in our society. Earlier a person used to walk or cycle for kilometres, today mobile apps have to tell us how many steps we walked”.
A 28-member committee comprising government officials, members of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), national sports federations, private bodies and fitness promoters was also constituted to advise the government on the Fit India Movement.
The committee under the chairmanship of sports minister Kiren Rijiju, has 12 members from the government, including secretaries of Sports, Secondary Education, Ayush, Youth Affairs, among others.
Rijiju is actively involved in developing football in India as the Member of Parliament has repeatedly stressed that he wants football to become a part of Indian lives. He aims to build five zonal committees to bring out the best talents in India.
“I want to have at least five committees for a large country like India. So there can be a Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern, and a North-Eastern zonal committee. These would include former players and other technical members who have sound knowledge of the sport. The five committees will scout for talent below 12 years of age. We have to start now if we have to make a mark in the Olympics and the World Cup,” stated the minister.

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