New Delhi: Next time you call a friend, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear Amitabh Bachchan telling you how to control blood pressure or John Abraham, giving tips on how to avoid obesity.

As part of a unique initiative to promote heath awareness, celebrities have donated their voices to mobile caller tunes, offering tips on various health issues.

The initiative was launched on Thursday by health secretary K N Desiraju along with World Health Organisation Representative to India Nata Menabde.

"We are facing a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), a large proportion of which are preventable to a large extent through modifying behavioural risk factors like unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, consumption of tobacco products and alcohol etc. It is important that we explore innovative mediums such as caller tunes to create awareness of such issues," Desiraju said.

"Presently the programme is being implemented in 100 districts spread over 21 states. It shall be upscaled in a phased manner to be implemented nationwide by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan," the health secretary said.

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Menabde, said, "The idea is to reach out with creative messages for adopting healthy lifestyles. According to industry estimates, on an average, a person receives around 15 phone calls a day, making the space of the caller tune an untapped area for promoting health causes."

"Also, celebrities have proven to be good ambassadors for various causes; hence their involvement adds a lot of value to the campaign," she added.


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