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Giving back to the society through fitness

Saravana Govindasamy, also known as “Vans G”, an Anti-Drug Advocacy Network volunteer with the Central Narcotics Bureau, motivates others to stay away from drugs by focusing on fitness.

I joined the Central Narcotics Bureau’s Anti-Drug Advocacy Network when I got involved in the BEN or Bothaiporulai Ethirthu Nirpom (“We Stand United Against Drugs” in Tamil) Campaign, which was launched in September 2019.

One of the programmes under the campaign was a walkabout to restaurants located along Race Course Road, where we distributed BEN stickers and decals to raise awareness of the anti-drug message with the rest of the volunteers. It was a good experience and I’m excited to be able to contribute. I also hope to be able to promote fitness to the community and steer them away from drugs.

Since young, I’ve always been interested in sports and fitness. When the company in which I worked for 18 years closed down, I established my own fitness firm using my skills and support from clients. Being in the industry has taught me perseverance in working towards achieving goals and sustaining them.

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The years of training and discipline instilled through participation in various sporting activities have helped me overcome the darkest moments in my life. It was not easy in the beginning, as there were many moments when I experienced a panic attack, but I kept at it and learnt to take things one day at a time.

Having engaged with fellow volunteers and clients over the past three years, I realised that people go through many challenges in their lives. A word of motivation goes a long way, and as someone who wants to make a difference, not only to the people around me but also to the wider community, I try to include that as part of my fitness talks.

I believe that giving back to society is a calling and it gives me purpose in life. To be able to make things just a little better for someone means a lot.

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