Healthy Nation begins with Healthy Me
From drinking water on waking up in the morning to morning and evening walks, doing some exercises and meditation to avoiding unhealthy food to spreading awareness about a healthy lifestyle to others, our readers have made their own commitments to the government-led health campaign
Principally the way to promote healthy living is by making healthy choices, the easy choice. Launching programmes that encourage people to make healthful choices are not enough. The government must also create an enabling environment which fosters easy execution of the choices made by the people of the country.
Personally speaking, I love cycling. However, the existing road conditions, absence of separate and safe lanes for cycles withhold me from carrying out a healthy choice. Many other examples like this can be mentioned here, but this step taken by our government must be appreciated and it needs the support from us, public, to help it become a success.
Making healthy choices that are within our reach, encouraging and educating our young ones about the importance of healthy choices can be one way of playing a positive role assisting the government-led initiative towards a healthy life.
— Anusha Ban, Dhapasi
Health is not considered only as a sound body but also the sound mind. An individual is fit or can be called healthy if he/she is physically as well as mentally fit. In this New Year, I have taken small initiatives to make healthy choices.
I replaced my black tea with green tea; for the past few weeks I have been drinking green tea every morning because it is a huge source of antioxidants and better for health. Similarly, I have been drinking water as soon as I wake up because I read somewhere that body is dehydrated after long hours of sleep that is why water is essential for rehydration.
I always prefer small steps to change my habit. Thus, to be healthy I took really small steps so that those healthy choices would turn into lifetime healthy habit.
— Pratikshya Tripathi
On the Nepali New Year Health Minister Gagan Thapa launched a health campaign which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Through the campaign, he has focused on the health of Nepali people and to attain it at a sustainable level. All the five commitments are attainable as for me.
To lead a healthy lifestyle I avoid drugs, do regular yoga and exercises, have a regular and nutritious diet, got for health check-ups and be aware of my health as well as of my family’s. As a sincere citizen of the country, I can help the campaign by committing to those commitments and spreading health awareness among people in society — I have been teaching my family members various yoga postures and doing it too.
— Tulip Gyawali, Minbhawan
The campaign by the government to adopt a healthy lifestyle are steps towards happiness of its people. It is a positive thing to which I can definitely contribute. First of all it is important to discuss about my lifestyle and health. I am a lecturer of Mathematics. To reach here I took a long and complicated journey that started from a village in Tanahun where almost all people lived about 100 years without a single capsule of medicine. And Kathmandu Valley is where people are living with the help of capsules of medicine every day — this situation is due to detrimental lifestyle of people.
I get up early in the morning, then without taking a glass of water, I go for classes that continue till the evening. In this span of time I eat whatever I find on the way without any discipline. Now, I am 43 years old and suffer from many health problems. It is sometimes hard to do my job properly and the reasons behind are stress without physical exercise, bad eating habits, poisonous fruits and vegetables, and polluted environment. But now I have started taking morning and evening walks, have scheduled a proper routine for my food along with work routine.
I will also be a part of the health campaign to educate people around me about healthy choices — it would help them live with sound health. I would request for health camps in my village, where people are unaware about the healthy tips and facilities given by the government.
— Ramesh Gautam
It’s a good act done by the government as the health of people is the subject of concern due to environmental degradation and unhealthy lifestyle. I support the campaign and as an individual what I need to do is maintain my health at a high level before imparting knowledge on how to take care of it to those who are not aware of maintaining health. Of course it’s a well-known fact that health is wealth, which has to be taken care of all the time. I know it really well that I have to remain healthy first before making others healthy the way they really want. Without health, we simply will not be able to march ahead and build our career. Hence, without any doubt I think and feel about giving first and foremost emphasis to my health.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor
As humans we all have a desire of leading and living a healthy life always, and I am no exception. But on the contrary what I feel is that it’s not an easy task to make healthy choices in life even if we want to. That is because we all have bad eating habits — we like junk, spicy and oily food; we focus eating more non-vegetarian food items than vegetables. We hardly work out. In fact many of us just don’t care about making healthy choices. Along with our eating habits and daily regime, the air pollution added by the road expansion, big factories, the Melamchi pipeline installation have aggravated our health.
The government is trying their level best and taking initiatives to make all of us health-conscious by launching different kinds of health awareness programmes and so on, but as an individual it’s our responsibility to pay attention to our health before someone else does. As far as I am concerned I pay attention to all those tiny things which are needed to lead a healthy life. If I have to step outside my house, then I make sure I wear mask and sunglasses to protect myself from dust. I make sure I use hand sanitiser or wash my hands before I eat something. I try not to eat roadside food items as they are not healthy and not good for a healthy life. Lastly, what I also believe is maintaining both physical and mental health is necessary to lead a healthy life. For that improving eating habit and working out are not sufficient; we should stop overthinking and taking stress in life. We should try to think positive and be happy in whatever situation we are and whatever we have so that we can lead a healthy life.
— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel
Health is wealth, as the old proverb says. Ancient Hindus believed that good health is achieved when there is a golden balance between mind, body and spirit. Following the ancient wisdom, I have decided on three resolutions — firstly to perform yogic exercise in the morning, secondly to control my diet so that meat and junk/ packaged food is avoided, and thirdly to abstain from carnal pleasures which waste a lot of time and energy. With strong-minded commitment, I believe that my health resolutions will bear fruits in the coming years.
— Raju Thapa
Frankly speaking, it is very easy for us to explain in words to others about maintaining healthy lifestyles, but difficult for us to maintain it. At the same time if we overcome small health mistakes which we make daily, then we can have a better health status. As a medical student I would like to suggest to people that they should not only individually maintain their healthy habits, rather they should also share the benefits of healthy habits with others. I have been going to health centres at regular intervals of time for medical check-ups so that I can have a clean bill of health and that makes me fully satisfied.
— Krishna Sarraf, Dharan-18
The initiatives taken by the government regarding the promotion of healthy lifestyle to its denizens is quite noteworthy. This year my focus is on mental health and I have already started practising meditation twice or thrice a day at least for five minutes on average. And I am not satisfied with myself with this diminutive figure of just five minutes which I have dedicated for meditation. I know it well that I need to allocate more time to meditation to improve my mental health and to help curb anxiety, mental pain, and depression among others. And I have now recovered mentally to a large extent, thanks to my loving and caring ones for their full support and unconditional love and care.
I rarely get furious when someone hurts my sentiments. I try to remain calm whenever irrational and hypocritical people verbally abuse me despite my innocence and I just let it go. I don’t hold any grudges now. I believe that inculcating a remarkable sense of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness in me is beneficial to my sound mental health that makes life worth living. I have acquaintance with cognitive psychology to some extent. My ambition is always to get better and better.
— Sanjog Karki, Tansen-6, Basantapur, Palpa
The world Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as ‘the state of physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absent of disease’. And the role of the government to launch a health campaign to promote healthy living so that people can prevent disease is crucial. It would be the most difficult task for us to avoid disease-causing food and keeping ourselves healthy. As the government has taken an initiative to make us healthy, we can play a crucial role in leading a healthy life by not eating disease-causing food, mainly street food and fast food. And we can help ourselves by keeping our environment pollution free, taking care of our own health individually and being part of various awareness programmes in the local level as well. Starting healthy habits like washing hands after using the toilet to committing to healthy physical, mental and social life, I can keep myself healthy.
— Sangita Mijar
In order to lead a healthy life, we must practice healthy ways of living. So I exercise regularly to keep myself physically healthy. But I strongly feel that being a vegetarian has also helped me in various ways as I don’t put on unnecessary fats. I believe in this day and age and we must focus equally on food we eat like we focus on physical exercise as people nowadays suffer from lots of health related diseases. So not only you should do lots of exercise, you must practice eating healthy food.
— Bikash Gurung, Nakhipot
It is important that individual’s responsibility for his/her own health is stressed within the broader context of social responsibility. Ideas of social justice with regards to health, however, need to be understood within the context of two distinct viewpoints: the government’s responsibility for providing health care as a basic human right, and the individual’s responsibility for maintaining their own health,as a responsibility to themselves and to society.
The issue of whether health is ultimately the responsibility of the individual depends on your particular viewpoint regarding the issue of welfare and how far the state should be responsible for individuals. My viewpoint is that welfare should be available to those who genuinely need access to this, but not for individuals who attempt to take advantage of the welfare system. For me personally, health is an individual responsibility and those who fail to assume this responsibility should be required to assume a portion of the costs of the treatment for their subsequent ill health.
— Ayush Shrivastav
Our government has taken an appreciable step to promote healthy living. Although the government has taken good initiative, it is upon us to make healthy choices and prevent several diseases. We can play a healthy role by changing our lifestyle to promote healthy living. The most important is how to dispose our waste and dispose it properly. Moreover government can increase the number of dustbins for proper disposal. We should dispose dry and wet waste separately and in fact we can try to recycle our waste even. It can be used as fertiliser or many other purposes. If every one of us cleans our surrounding, then automatically our country will be heaven and we can preserve our natural beauty. We can train our children for the same. We can even prevent pollution by minimising use of vehicles. It’s a very good step for preventing air pollution. At last I would like to say that it’s our lifestyle which can preserve cleanliness.
— Raju Atal, Biratnagar
I appreciate the government’s health campaign launched on New Year’s Day. But we know that our traditional lifestyle is an invitation to several kinds of diseases. We live in a nation with numerous cultural diversities that play a pivotal role to maintain equilibrium. Drinking alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco and superstitious beliefs are products of these cultures, which are more attractive to us than healthy behaviour. And then we are in a dilemma — to choose own tradition or healthy lifestyle? I face these same problems, which I believe others are facing too.
We know that campaigns are just that unless they are implemented by the individuals themselves. As a student, I can be an example in many ways — follow healthy habits, ignore negative aspects of superstitious beliefs. I can even prepare a group of volunteers to disseminate awareness, both based on healthy behaviour as well as the campaign. I can inform the government about the present health status of my area.
— Mitraranjan Kr Pramani, New Plaza, Kathmandu
Once Heather Morgan said, “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”
And living right in the heart of capital city Kathmandu, everything we eat or drink falls for the fighting cause. But still, for us people it was and always will somehow be tough to adopt healthy habits. Since the government is already taking initiatives, we must encourage each other to support the initiative and make our society and as a whole country healthy.
— Aman Dutta, Shantinagar
The majority of people are living unhealthy lives. However, the government decided on a new health campaign on New Year’s Day to promote healthy living so that people can prevent many diseases caused by their lifestyles. As far as I am concerned, I have always been a health-conscious person when it comes to eating habits in my life. As I am fond of eating Nepali food items, I prefer eating homemade food items like dal, bhat and tarkari, gundruk, dhido, aalutama, yomari, chatamari, selroti, kheer and so on instead of ready-made food items, which are found in fancy restaurants such as fried rice, sandwich, fried chicken, pizza, popcorn, potato chips, among others. As I am a true lover of this country, by eating Nepali food, I make sure that it makes me 100 per cent healthy from all angles. In this way, I will be contributing to the healthy initiative taken by the government.
— Saroj Wagle, Dumarwana-4, Bara
It has never been a difficult choice in our family to lead a healthy life. We were exposed to a Brit lifestyle from our birth, eating the healthiest food such as choicest fruits, fishes, cheese, butter, biscuits and drinking VAT 69 that my family imported from then distant Delhi and Bombay. It is not just eating and drinking, my father would also practice what he preached like taking us jogging and doing physical exercise. He was also an avid trekker at a time when villagers would flee into their hearth at the glimpse of strangers. He got us into trekking at a young age and the villagers had by then learnt to say ‘namaste’ and ‘tata’ to us. Most important, he would stress on uncompromising honesty like not lying, borrowing money or books and not returning them, not cheating, stealing and using unfair means to climb the ladder of power as the sacred secrets of happy and healthy living.
While the government’s initiative is commendable, just shunning drinks and cigarettes cannot lead to a healthy lifestyle. The foundation of physical health is spiritual and mental health that can come from honesty and morality. Of course, one needs to have a balanced diet which in my case is pure vegetarian continental dishes and liberal glasses of Scotch. Before he left the world, my father advised me never to quit drinking and smoking an occasional pipe or a cigar. And our family walks and cycles at least a couple of kilometres to work daily. Health Minister Gagan Thapa and his peers should adopt this walking and cycling to work. I can assure them that they will both shed a few kilos to become lean and healthy.
— Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
If you don’t earn much and can barely pay your bills, the idea of saving money might seem impractical. But all of us know how important savings are, though not all of us are good savers. Do you use any particular trick to save money? And has such saving been useful in any critical point of your life? Share with example.
Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, April 28, 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times,