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Sports Ministry collaborates with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to empower women through sports and physical fitness

In a first-time move, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smt. Smriti Irani and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri. Kiren Rijiju jointly announced a number of initiatives that the two Ministries will be taking togetherfor women and girls, the first of which was launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day, today.

Smt. Irani and Shri. Rijiju launched an online training programme exclusively for women Physical Education Teachers and Community Coaches. The initiative which is a convergence of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Fit India programmes, aims to empower women teachers in primary, secondary and senior secondary schools by giving them fitness training so that they can in turn empower students, especially the girl child.

The programme has a registered participation of 12500 PE Teachers and Community Coaches, who will be imparted training for free. The online program will have a total of 28 sessions (in Hindi and English) i.e., two sessions of 90 minutes each daily and will commence from 8th March 2021 till 26th March 2021.

Speaking at the event, Smt. Irani said, “I am so happy to know that so many women have registered for this unique programme, who will in turn be able to motivate our future generation of girls to be physically fit and take up sports. I understand that women participation in the Khelo India Games has gone up by 160 per cent between 2018 to 2020 and I would like to thank ShriRijiju for executing the vision of our Honourable PM so well. Going forward, through the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Khelo India initiatives, we would like to support and promote our female athletes.”

Elaborating on the collaborative events planned ahead, Shri Rijiju said, “This online training programme is the first of many of projects that the Ministries will organise together. In the second half of the year, when the Covid situation is completely under control, we have planned to organise Girls’ Super Leagues in Kho Kho, Basketball, Kabaddi and Football in association with MoWDC.”

With this initiative, Fit India and WCD aim to provide an opportunity for women teachers to learn from the best trainers not just in India but from the world over and in the process empower them in the field of physical fitness and health.

Under this, the government aims to train female teachers of Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary classes who undertake physical activities in their schools, female PE Teachers and community coaches across the country, and women who aspire to be PE teachers or coaches in the future.

Besides the online PE teachers and community coaching programme, the Fit India Mission organised an All Women’s Fit India Walkathon on the morning of 8th March 2021 where thousands of NYKS volunteers participated in the event which was held in 1000 locations across India. Union Sports Minister flagged off the Walkathon at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. Speaking at the event, Shri. Rijiju said, “Through these initiatives we want to reiterate to the world that our women can do whatever they set their minds to, and they will always be a priority for us. As a Ministry, we provide equal opportunities to both male and female athletes, but I always feel happier when a woman athlete wins a medal. That win is special to us.”