Healthy tips from archer Deepika

Forget the tangy chaat and instead settle for channa gud if you want to be healthy, strong and lithe like Deepika Kumari. Similarly, start making a habit of eating plenty of greens and say no to golgappas!

The dietary tips came from none other than the ace archer herself as she revealed the secret to good health and a great life.

Deepika Kumari was speaking to girls, who are part of the Unicef-run Programme on Weekly Iron Folic Supplementation (WIFS) for Adolescents, commonly known as anaemia control programme, at Jamshedpur Women's College on Wednesday. The golden girl was present at the event, jointly held by the college's home science department and Unicef, as the latter's "celebrity supporter".

"Sab ladkiyan chahte hai ki woh mere jaise bane, par mere jaise banne ke liye poushtik aahar ki zarurat hai, chaat aur golgappa khane se nahi chalega (All girls want to be like me, but you need nutritious food to be like me. Chaat and golgappa will not do)," said Deepika, whose meteoric rise in archery (recurve) has inspired many girls to follow in her footsteps.

But then, it's not easy to be Deepika Kumari. The success comes with its share of sacrifices as she rightly pointed out.

Harping on the importance of maintaining right haemoglobin levels, the Arjuna awardee urged a hall full of young girls to consume green vegetables, cereal and everything nutritious.

"Channa gud khao, subah subah. Isse bohut phurti milti hai sharir ko (Have sprouted chickpea and jaggery in the morning. It will keep you active the whole day)" was her other tip.

Also present were Job Zachariah, chief of Unicef, Jharkhand; Birendra Kumar Singh, district social welfare officer; Tulsi Das, district education officer; Shukla Mahanty, principal of Jamshedpur Women's College and K. Annapurna, head of home science department of the college.

Khoon Ka Jadugar, a short skit on anaemia, its symptoms and cure, was also presented by cub reporters (again a Unicef project) of Utkramit Uchcha Vidyalaya, Laxminagar, Jamshedpur.

"According to the NFHS 2005-06 survey, 67 per cent of girls between 15 and 19 years are anaemic in Jharkhand as compared to the national average of 50 per cent. So, girls have to be aware about their health," said Zachariah.

The anaemia control programme was rechristened as Programme on Weekly Iron Folic Supplementation for Adolescents in August 2012. The awareness drive, which kicked off with Jamshedpur Women's College, will be carried out across the state, covering government schools, anganwadi centres and tribal schools. Besides girls in the age group of 10 to 19, boys will be also given iron tablets once a week.