World Health Day: Walkathon event in New Delhi

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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New Delhi, 7th April 2023: On the occasion of World Health Day, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare organised a walkathon event in New Delhi.

Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya along with Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, led the walkathon.

The event was organised under the theme of ‘Health for All’. The aim of the walkathon was to create awareness about healthy habits not only to keep away Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) but also for positive effects on mental wellbeing. The event started from Vijay Chowk via Kartavya Path and passed through India Gate to reach Nirman Bhawan. Over 350 enthusiastic participants, walking for better health, participated with great fervour. They took a pledge to adopt healthy and active living to prevent and control lifestyle-related health problems/ diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, mental illness and cancer.

In a tweet, Union Health Minister, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision of a Healthier India.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya thanked everyone for their participation in the event. Dr Mandaviya said that “It has remained India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam where we think about the progress for all and not just self. This philosophy was observed during the COVID crisis, when India provided vaccines and medical supplies to the countries in need without considering any commercial profits. India has been at the forefront of helping every stakeholder, and with this spirit, India is working for the health of its citizens and the world.”

Highlighting the significance of health in the country’s development, Union Health Minister stated that “under the leadership of the Prime Minister, India has connected health to development. Only healthy citizens can create a healthy society and, in turn, a developed nation. In this Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, I urge you all to work together to create a developed and healthy India.”

The Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar noted that “be it a walkathon, yoga or other exercises, our youth is enthusiastically inculcating these physical activities in their lives.” She said that the “Health for all” concept originates from the fact that a healthy person not only contributes positively to their family but also to society. She also noted that the country took a strong resolve under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister for a fit India, where behavioural changes and a more physically active lifestyle are being encouraged.

What is the aim of World Health Day?

World Health Day aims to promote awareness among people towards the importance of good health. Reiterating this message from time to time, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, who is also known as a “Green MP” for his enthusiasm for cycling, has been encouraging citizens to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

It is known that NCDs account currently for more than 63% of all deaths in the country and are strongly associated and causally linked with major behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use (smoking and smokeless), alcohol use, poor dietary habits, insufficient physical activity, and air pollution.

One of the major risk factors for the development of NCDs is physical inactivity. According to the National NCD Monitoring Survey (NNMS) (2017-18) as well, 41.3% of Indians are physically inactive. Physical activity not only lowers the risk of NCDs including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer etc. but also has positive effects on mental health, and delays the onset of dementia.

Vishal Chauhan, Joint Secretary (MoHFW), Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region, Dr Roderico H. Ofrin, WHO Representative, senior officials of the Ministry, Doctors, Nurses, Staff and students of Central Government hospitals namely, Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College, also participated in the Walkathon.

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