Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
07-December-2019 20:33 IST
Vice President calls for making ‘Fit India’ a mass movement

Advises people to take up sports or yoga to stay fit Educate people on need to change their sedentary lifestyle: VP tells doctors Addresses HrudayaFoundationevent on successful completion of 5000 heart surgeries of underprivileged children Urges doctors to prescribe and promote cheap generic drugs

The Vice President of India,Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today called upon people to cultivate one hobby or sports or yoga to stay healthy and fit. He said that a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietcoupled with lack of physical activity were causing Non-Communicable Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other heart related ailments.

Addressing an event organized by Hrudaya Cure A Little Heart Foundation in Hyderabad to celebrate the completion of 5000 heart surgeries of underprivileged children today, he expressed concern that India accounted for nearly 40%world’s heart failure patients and more than a quarter of all deaths were caused by heart ailments in India.

He urged all doctors and health care professionals to give primacy to educating people about changing their sedentary lifestyles and encourage people to take up physical activities such as jogging, cycling, and others to reduce the probability of heart diseases.

Shri Naidu also stressed the need to revert back to traditional foods that were best suited to our bodily and climatic needs. He said “by keeping away from Mother Nature, people were harming bodies and health,” adding that “loving the nature, living with nature was for better future.”

Observing that there was an urgent need to think holistically about the health and well being of the entire population, the Vice President called upon everyone to actively participate in the ‘Fit India’ movement launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi.

He stressed the need to popularise the movement in hospitals, schools, society, and community and convert it into people's movement.

Talking about the need to create affordable medical facilities to tackle the Non Communicable and other diseases, the Vice President said that Ayushman Bharat launched the government of India was playing an important role in nation’s well being by helping the citizens avail treatment for various ailments which was earlier out of their reach due to high costs.

The Vice President lauded the government for establishing over five thousand PradhanMantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojanaKendras were functional across the country to provide all medicines at affordable prices. He urged doctors and people in the medical fraternity to prescribe and promote cheap generic drugs.

The Managing Trustee, Hrudaya Foundation, ShriYugandharMeka, Trustees, Dr.GopichandMannam and ShriJairaj Kumar Penukonda of the foundation were among the dignitaries present at the venue.

Following is the full text of speech –

“Dear brothers and sisters,

I am happy to be among you today to celebrate this momentous occasion of Hrudaya Foundation for having accomplished 5000 heart surgeries of underprivileged children.

Children are the future of our nation. They deserve a healthy and fulfilling childhood in every aspect.

I congratulate Dr.GopichandMannam and his team for this noble initiative to provide superlative medical services to the underprivileged children born with heart defects.


When it comes to heart related diseases, situation is really worrisome in India.

India is home to nearly 40% of world’s heart failure patients.

More than a quarter of all deaths are caused by heart ailments in India.

The number of people affected by cardiac diseases has almost doubled in last three decades.

Studies reveal that in 1990, around 15% of deaths in India were due to heart diseases; this number increased to 28% in the year 2016.


If we look at overall disease burden, India is witnessing a disturbing transition from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCD).

While in 1990 mortality due to communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases was higher (53.6%), but in year 2016 more deaths in India (61.8%) were due to non-communicable diseases.

And fact remains that cardiac ailments kills more Indians than any other non-communicable disease,

Another disturbing trend is that rural India has overtaken urban India in heart disease related deaths. A study by the Lancet shows that deaths due to coronary heart diseases and strokes were more common among the urban population at the turn of the century. But the trend has reversed since then.

State wise also, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in 2016 was the highest in Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu– more than 5,000 per population of 100,000.

This indicates that wealthier and more urbanised states in India have a higher risk of heart disease. We must take urgent steps to prevent further spread of these diseases.

Dear friends,

Our changing lifestyle is one of the main contributing factors for increasing cases of NCDs in India.

Today, most of us lead a sedentary lifestyle with very less physical activity. The young professionals work for long hours in cubicles without breaks… they hardly ever get a feel of sunlight, dew or fresh morning air.

We are keeping ourselves away from the mother nature…. harming our bodies and health.

So my dear friends,

We need to go back to the nature. We need to adopt a lifestyle that is healthy and balanced.

You should have a hobby or sports to keep yourself fit.

Yoga is a also beautiful system given by our ancestors for overall physical and mental well being.


Diet also plays a key role. Fast food, junk food and high cholesterol diet is taking a toll on our bodies.

We need to revert back to our traditional foods that have evolved over a period of time and are best suited to our bodily and climatic needs.

Smoking is another evil. Consistent efforts are required in spreading awareness about tobacco’s ill effects.


We need to think holistically when it comes to our health and well being.

The Prime Minister has launched ‘Fit India’ movement. I call upon everyone to take it forward and spread the message in one’s hospital, school, society and community.

The Government is also taking several steps to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all. Ayushman Bharat is one of the largest healthcare schemes in world towards this end.

More than 12.5 crore families have been covered under the scheme.

It is heartening to note that among the top 10 tertiary care procedures performed under Ayushman Bharat, the highest amount of money has been spent on stent surgeries – a total of 46,899 hospital admissions so far.

Also, out of these top 10 tertiary care procedures (in terms of amount of money spent), five are related to various heart ailments.

Thus, Ayushman Bharat is playing an important role in nation’s well being by helping the citizens avail treatment for various ailments which was earlier out of their reach due to high costs.

The PM Jan Aushadhi Scheme is another major initiative to make medical treatment affordable. It aims to make available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to all, especially the poor. Over five thousand PradhanMantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojanaKendras are functional across the country.

There is greater need to spread awareness about this scheme among masses. I also call upon the medical community and doctors to prescribe and promote cheap generic drugs. This will give much needed relief to the poor.


In addition to the government efforts, it is also the duty of all of us to work towards the well being of those who require our help.

Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had said –

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others.”

It is sad that nearly two lakh children are born every year in India with heart defects. Majority of these are born in poor families and 80 % die without receiving any kind of medical treatment.

I appreciate that Hrudaya Foundation aims to be a beacon in the darkness of all those lives afflicted with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

I once again congratulate Dr.GopichandMannam and his team for the extraordinary commitment and dedication to the cause of prevention and cure of heart ailments.

I appeal to other like-minded entrepreneurs, professionals, industrialists to support such initiatives and help every child live a happy life.

Thank you.

Jai Hind!”