HEALTH AND NUTRITION
A Step towards a Healthy Raipur
According to the global financial services firm, India will add around 100 million people to its working—age population between 2018 and 2025 and will account for 20 per cent of the world’s work force. It will soon emerge as the largest exporter of manpower in the world and would unleash demographic dividend in near future. This distinguished factor will prove the mettle of India as a global prowess.
Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, has about 60.6% of the population in the working age group and this is further supposed to increase by 64% by the end of 2022. Hence, to unleash its demographic dividend, the district administration is focused on improving the health of its citizens as it believes in “Health is Wealth”. With the objective of maintaining the wealth of its district, it aims towards keeping its denizens hale and hearty.
After contemplating on the objective and assessing the present scenario that the citizens are undergoing, an idea of Open Air Gym was conceived as a solution. In today’s fast pacing life, people are occupied with tight schedules and unhealthy practices. Also, everyone wish to go to gym but many could not afford. Here, the Raipur district administration has come up with a idea of Open air gym which is available at free of cost. Believing a fact that a gym with the confinement of four walls cannot be the only place to shed those extra kilos and stay fit, 100 open air gym is installed across the city.
“Open air gym…a gym built outside in a public park, with the all-weather construction of its exercise machines somewhat modelled on playground equipment.”
The capital has witnessed the mushrooming of a few open-air gymnasiums that have become quite a rage among all. These gyms have become a regular stop-by for Raipurians who want a dose of fresh air and work out under the sky. Not only does this outdoor gym have exercise equipment, but it also comes with the benefit of getting much needed vitamin D from the early morning or late evening sun. For those who are bored of exercising in the closed and confined gym, the open air gym could be a reason to escape their boredom.
The gym, set up in the heart of the park, is not just a recreational facility, but also a thing of beauty. It’s been a few months these open-air gyms have been inaugurated at 100 places in the capital –Parks, Recreational area, Education Institutes, Slum areas, Tribal Hostels etc.– and the response has been phenomenal. There has been an increase in the footfalls due to open air gym facility available in the parks. With its advent, people are thronging the parks from 5 am in the morning not just for their regular walk but also to reap the benefits of different gym equipment. Exercising outdoors comes with a range of physical and mental health benefits including increased energy and decreased levels of stress, confusion and depression. Besides, it has worked as physiotherapy for the older population, who hesitantly does workout at free of cost.
Apart from a busy schedule, expensive gym was another reason for majority of the population not willing to join gym. But through this project, people from all walks of life could access the gym facility at their convenience.
The open air gym boasts of air walkers, sit-up benches, air swings, twisters, gliders, spinners, parallel bars and people from all walks of life can be seen enjoying their precious time out there.
For this project, the Collector has utilized the idle fund from the Jila Nirashrit Nidhi which accounts to 1% of the Mandi tax in Paddy procurement. Seeing the demand and its benefit that its urban citizens are reaping, the Collector decided to set up 100 open air gym in the rural areas for not debarring them from the healthy lifestyle. Inclusive development is the guiding principle for this kind of project in the district.
These crowded open-air gyms in the capital today are an indication that Raipur is now on its way to become a healthy city.