NDTV-NIRMAL MARKS FOR SPORTS CAMPAIGN
The NDTV-Nirmal Fit India Movement is the first ever nationwide campaign aimed to
change the way India thinks about fitness and inspire us to become a healthier nation.
A vital mission of the campaign is 'Marks for Sports' which aims to make
diverse types of sports a part of our children’s lives. The core belief being that
if schools and, more importantly, different boards of education include Sports as
a part of the main curriculum, then parents as well as children would devote more
time to sports.
The initiative, launched in March 2011, saw Campaign Ambassador, Ranbir Kapoor join
Dr. Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV and Mr. Dharmesh Jain, Chairman & MD of Nirmal in
New Delhi. Our endeavor is supported by other sporting legends such as the late
legendary cricketer MAK Pataudi, Olympic boxer Vijender Singh, India’s
Football Captain Baichung Bhutia, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Gagan Narang
and seven times World Billiards and Snooker Champion Pankaj Advani, Leander Paes,
Jwala Gutta, among many others.
During last year, the Marks for Sports campaign reached out to policy and
decision makers across the country with series of activities and television programming.
These were special televised debates and discussion shows with leading politicians,
sports celebrities, children, parents and various educationists. We also conducted
various televised ground activities with sportspersons and children which took the
message of the campaign to cities across India, including a pan India signature
drive asking for policy changes.
The year-long campaign culminated on 5th Feb 2012, with the NDTV- Nirmal Fit India
Day. This day, which had the backing of the Ministry of Sports, was devoted
to sports & fitness and comprised over 10 coaching workshops conducted by various
sports personalities. Children were given tips & training by personalities such
as Baichung Bhutia, Leander Paes, Jaspal Rana, Jawala Gutta, Vijender Singh, Rahul
Bose (Rugby), Dhanraj Pillai, Sreeshanth among many others. The day ended
with a gala Spirit of Sport Awards ceremony honoring the commitment of sports
persons, dedicated individuals, children & government bodies towards promoting sports.
Sports luminaries were felicitated for their unerring dedication to sport and some
of the recipients included 2012 Olympic medalists Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal.
One of the major achievements of the campaign in Year 1 was receiving the generous
support of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Sports Minister Ajay Maken
passed a resolution urging all states to implement Marks for Sports. Moreover, Maharashtra,
one of the first states to adopt Marks for Sports, was planning to scrap the policy
but then promised they would continue as a direct result of the campaign.
Year 2 of the campaign was launched on July 13th 2012 with the hope of reaching
out to many more children, their parents, and countless more schools and sports
organizations with special focus on the overall state of fitness in India.
This year’s on air & ground activities will focus on encouraging fitness all across
India, with a large part of the campaign centred around the Fittest City Contest.
The 6 contesting cities, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Kolkata
are being represented by their Fitness Ambassadors, Virender Sehwag, Sania Mirza,
Bipasha Basu, Vijender Singh, Mahesh Bhupati and Baichung Bhutia, respectively.
The Fittest City Contest too has received Mr. Ajay Maken’s wholehearted support
who has said that fitness tests should be compulsory in each school. The contest
would keep several parameters in mind – on ground physical camps to test people,
surveys on health habits, government statistics, testing of fitness levels of children
across schools in these cities, participation in special camps, marathons and other
sporting events along with an extensive web campaign.
We are supported in this campaign by Ranbir Kapoor who has pledged his support for