Published: 24th September 2020
From Virat's Chole Bhature to Milind Soman's age, PM Modi turns fun anchor with Fit India Dialogue
The PM had a truly candid conversation with players like Virat Kohli and Afshan Ashiq and fitness enthusiasts like Milind Soman among others to kick off the Fit India Dialogue
India needs to stay fit to prosper and we need to embrace our indigenous knowledge to do so, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he turned anchor and interviewer in a truly candid conversation with players like Virat Kohli and Afshan Ashiq and fitness enthusiasts like Milind Soman along with the Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju among others to kick off the Fit India Dialogue on September 24. The nation got to see a different side of the PM — he was fun, candid, and talked about everything from Chole Bhature to Milind Soman's age.
Virat Kohli, now playing the IPL in Dubai, joined the conversation to talk about fitness and the need for a fitness regime in one's life. But that's not all, PM Modi knew how to keep the conversation lively. "Does the Chole Bhature miss you?" he asked Kohli as he was talking about eating healthy. Talking about the need for fitness, Modi asked Kohli about the Yo-Yo test and why it is needed, "So are you spared from it as captain?" he asked the India Captain.
"Fitness has to be our priority. I started to focus on fitness to improve my game but now fitness is the priority — I feel bad if I miss even a single workout session. Today, life has become too hectic. We will be left behind if we do not sync our fitness with our life. Everybody gets tired after physical activity, but it depends on your diet and lifestyle too," said Kohli The PM congratulated Kohli, Anushka Sharma, and their families for their 'upcoming' happiness.
The Fit India Dialogue aims to spread awareness about ideas of health and fitness among citizens thus taking the Fit India Movement forward. Along with Virat Kohli, fitness guru and actor Milind Soman, Paralympian gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia and Afshan Ashiq a woman footballer from Jammu and Kashmir who now trains other girls as well, Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar were among the huge list of guests who joined the conversation.
Talking to Milind Soman, who is himself an anchor and actor, Modi went on to ask whether Soman is as old as it says online — he has done his research well like any good anchor. "Age is just a number. You have been a vocal supporter of the Make in India initiative. There is no age bar for fitness," said Modi. Answering Modi's question about his age, Soman said he wants to become as fit as his mother when he is as old as he is now — 81. The PM, who is now 70, said that he has seen videos of her doing push-ups as well.
Kashmiri footballer Afshan Ashiq shared her fitness routine adding that she has learnt a lot about composure and being calm and from former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni. "You are a big inspiration for women, especially for women in Kashmir. By following you, girls all over the country will be empowered," he told Ashiq, who was the footballer who was seen pelting stones at a protest in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016. She now trains in Mumbai.
Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, who promotes Indian diets and nutrition facts said that the food habits Indians learnt from their grandmothers and mothers, are now being proven right by science and are being included in various journals. "Whenever I speak with my mother, which is once or twice a week, she always asks one thing — whether I am consuming haldi (turmeric) or not," the PM told the nutritionist in this context.
Indian Paralympian Devendra Jhajharia, who started off the conversation, hailed the Fit India Movement. The Paralympian recounted how he went on to succeed in sports after losing his limbs and said that his motto in life was to never accept defeat.