Koppal's physical deficit a disturbing trend

Only 16 from district pass fitness tests at army rally

If figures emerging from the army recruitment rally held in the city from February 3 to 10 are any indication, the youth in the district are not fit enough physically.

The number of youngsters taking part from the district was meagre and of these, very few of them were selected for the written test. The recruitment rally was held for candidates from the six Hyderabad-Karnataka districts, and a total of 417 candidates were selected for the written test. Only 16 of them were from Koppal district. As many as 80 candidates were declared temporarily ineligible, based on medical tests.

Conclusions are being drawn that the youth from Koppal are less fit physically than those from the other five districts. Officials admit privately that it was not just a question of selection to the army. It throws light on the overall health of the youth from the district.

The foremost physical endurance for the candidates is that they have to run a distance of 1.6 km in six minutes 20 seconds.

Most candidates failed in this preliminary test and they were found ineligible in other tasks like expanding the chest and pull-ups too. Officials who trained some of the candidates initially said this was a cause for concern. They say over consumption of gutkha, alcohol and lack of physical work in their daily routine and physical exercises among the youth in the district had led to such a situation.

The dhaba culture had led to the decline of the indigenous food system, resulting in falling fitness levels, they said. The rally was open to candidates from the Hyderabad-Karnataka districts only on February 5, when 1,200 candidates took part. On the other hand, opportunity was provided to youth from Belgaum district on February 7, 8 and 9.

The response was much better on these days, with participation of 2,500 candidates each day, many of whom performed well in the physical tests. Officials point out that this only goes to show that the fitness level among the youth from the Hyderabad-Karnataka districts is not very encouraging, more so in the case of candidates from Koppal district.

Those from Belgaum district have performed better here.

Another worrying factor is that a training programme had been organised from January 27 to 31 for aspirants from Koppal district as a prelude to the recruitment rally. Only 86 candidates took part in the training programme, said district employment officer B F Beeranaikar.

Startling

* Candidates registered for 7-day rally: 15,000
* Candidates who passed running trial: 1,900
* Candidates who passed next level of physical tests: 417
* The selected candidates to appear for written exam in Bangalore, Belgaum on
Feb 26

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