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Will Modi’s Fit India Give Wings To CSR In Sports?

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On the occasion of National Sports Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Fit India Movement’ in Indira Gandhi Stadium New Delhi yesterday, with a vision to inculcate a culture of fitness among the citizens. Sports icons like World Badminton champion PV Sindhu, sprinter Hima Das along with celebrated wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik are supporting the campaign.
A 28-member committee comprising members of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), national sports federations, private bodies, fitness promoters and government officials was constituted to advise the government on the Fit India Movement. Chaired by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, the committee has 12 members from the government, including secretaries of Sports, Secondary Education, Ayush, Youth Affairs, among others.
Launching the movement, Modi said, “On this day a great sportsperson was born, Major Dhyan Chand. He amazed the world with his his fitness, stamina, and hockey stick. The way to make India a great nation is only possible through a healthy person, healthy family and healthy society.” However, what does this mean for the often-neglected category of “sports” in corporate social responsibility?

In order to be a part of the Fit India Movement, the University Grants Commission has directed the universities across the country to prepare for the Fit India Movement. Shouldn’t corporates be roped in too?
It’s one thing to have in-house gym facilities and yoga class for employees and another altogether to inculcate a sporting culture in tomorrow’s generation. Apart from a handful of companies like JSW, Indusind Bank, Tata Steel and Hero Motocorp, few companies are willing to play along.
For sports to deliver a ‘winning proposition’, the new Fit India Movement launched yesterday and corporate intent need to align with the sports ecosystem. Moreover, a nationwide communication effort to create awareness needs to be initiated to build focus and momentum towards corporate investing through CSR in sports development.