After yoga, all central government employees have been advised to participate in adventure sports like jungle safari and rafting to enhance their risk-taking capacity.
This would tackle the alarming situation of stress and impact of sedentary life on government servants, says a memorandum for promotion of adventure sports among the employees issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Besides this, it has also been decided to open gyms at workplaces that would help the employees increase their productivity and lead to “decreased absenteeism and reduced usage of sick leave”.
“Healthy employees are happy employees. A positive and energetic work force collaborates better and is more appealing to customers, which means investing in gym will improve the functioning and image of an organisation,” it said.
Participation by central government employees in adventure sports and similar activities will give them a platform where they would learn lessons from nature and use the knowledge acquired for welfare of the society, it said.
“It would create and foster spirit of risk-taking, cooperative team work, capacity of readiness and vital response to challenging situations and of endurance,” the memorandum noted.
The activities include trekking, mountaineering, rock-climbing, cycling in a difficult terrain, skiing, surfing, boat sailing, snorkeling, rafting, parasailing ballooning, paragliding, jungle safari, desert safari, beach trekking and environmental awareness camps.
There are about 50 lakh central government employees.
The DoPT will provide financial assistance of upto Rs 20,000 and special casual leave to the employees to help them participate in such activities.
Six institutes including Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, National Institute of Water Sports, Vasco da Gama, Goa and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand have been approved for this purpose by the government.
Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering, Mount Abu, Rajasthan and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, have also been approved.
“With increased involvement of government in various activities for the benefit of people at large, the workload of government employees has increased manifold. Their sedentary behaviour can have many detrimental effects including an increased likelihood of developing illness.
“As an employer it is necessary that steps are taken to ensure health and well being of the employees so as to enable them contribute more effectively in the discharge of their official duties. One way to improve the physical fitness of the employees is to invest in a gymnasium at workplace,” the DoPT said.
Gymnasium at workplace will make it easier for employees to find time to exercise and improve their health and well-being which can have significant impact such as increased productivity, it said.
“Constant work stress and frustration can lower productivity, so giving employees a convenient means through fitness programmes such as gym result in decreased absenteeism and reduced usage of sick leave which is beneficial to both the employees and the organisation,” the memorandum said.
Trained and experienced gym instructors will be engaged for guiding the users and teaching them how to use various equipment, it said.
A ministry or department with at least 1000 employees will get Rs 10 lakh grant and those with up to 500 employees will get Rs five lakh.