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Prez confers Bal Puraskars, urges children to take up sports for mental, physical wellbeing

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) Cautioning youngsters against excessive use of electronic devices, President Droupadi Murmu on Monday said it is leading to an increase in various health issues and urged them take up at least one sports.

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Murmu was addressing a gathering at the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar function here. The award was given to 19 children -- nine boys and 10 girls -- from 18 states and Union Territories for exceptional bravery, artistic prowess, innovative thinking and selfless service.

She also stressed on the importance of responsible use of technology.

While commending the use of technology by children for educational and personal development, the president cautioned against its misuse, citing concerns such as deep-fakes, financial frauds and child exploitation.

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"Social media, while a powerful tool for communication and awareness, is also misused for spreading rumours. Therefore, it is essential to stay vigilant and avoid such activities as a wrong step can jeopardise your future," Murmu said.

She called on youngsters to take up sports, highlighting that the holistic benefits include physical and mental well-being, teamwork and preparedness for healthy competition.

"Excessive use of devices like mobiles, laptops and televisions has led to a decline in physical activities among today's generation. This has resulted in an increase in various health issues. I urge the youth to at least engage in one sport, even if not as a career choice," the president said.

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"Sports not only keep you physically and mentally healthy but also develops teamwork and preparedness for healthy competition," Murmu said.

Outlining the role of youngsters in nation building, she stressed on empowering children in technology, and encouraging them towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

There is a need for everyone to contribute to providing a right direction to youngsters, the president said.

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On tackling environmental pollution and global warming, she commended India's efforts to promote green and clean initiatives such as green hydrogen, solar energy and biofuels.

The president said, "The impacts of environmental pollution and global warming are causing concern worldwide. India is playing a crucial role in building a green and clean world by promoting green hydrogen, solar energy, and biofuels." "Good habits developed in childhood stay with you throughout life. Therefore, I advise everyone to adopt a lifestyle that is environmentally friendly, reducing the pressure on Mother Earth. Proper utilisation of natural resources is crucial," she said.

The president called for collective efforts and urged youngsters to become beacons for the entire world.

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President Murmu presented the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar-2024 in six categories -- art and culture (7), bravery (1), innovation (1), science and technology (1), social service (4), and sports (5).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the award's recipients on Tuesday.

PTI UZM ANB ANB

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