Mahatma Gandhi to be ‘health ambassador’ for children in new ICMR initiative


PTI, Jul 13, 2019, 6:32 PM IST

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New Delhi: A new initiative that projects Mahatma Gandhi as ‘health ambassador’ to create awareness among school children for pursuing a lifestyle that ensures their well being has been launched by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“The Gandhian virtues and philosophy of good health, which he preached and practiced, are relevant even in today’s time. To keep this philosophy alive, ICMR scientists and officers are visiting the schools for active interaction with children to raise awareness regarding values for good health,” the apex health research body said.

The initiative, called ‘Mission SHAKTTI’ (School-based Health Awareness, Knowledge Test and Training Initiative), was recently launched in collaboration with the National Gandhi Museum and Directorate of Education, Delhi government, to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

A total of 36 schools of Delhi will be participating in the programme.

Rajni Kant, scientist and director at the ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur, and also project coordinator of the programme said, “Health is the most important aspect of life. In this era of rising lifestyle related diseases, imbibing and following Gandhiji’s mantra for good health from school time itself would lead to a healthy life in the long run.

“In fact, Gandhiji’s teachings of cleanliness for prevention of communicable diseases like malaria, dengue holds true at all times,” he said.

During an event at a school here recently, Kant taught children the best practices for a healthy body, healthy mind and a healthy environment, citing events from Mahatma Gandhi’s life.

Kalyan Ganguly, scientist, ICMR and convener of the event said, “Social and behavioural changes as per Gandhiji’s health philosophy taught to school children could lead to monumental changes in the society as they are the future of the nation.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission also popularises Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of cleanliness and sanitation.

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