In March 2017, three high school boys — Sanjeev Kumar, Kush Mitter and Shiva Pawar — started a small nonprofit organization in Johns Creek, Georgia. Now, they're on a mission. Their goal is to educate people on the importance of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. In the past five months alone, they've had a major impact in the Johns Creek community, but they have many more goals to accomplish before the year's over. I talked to one of the co-founders of WHOLE Fit Inc., Sanjeev Kumar. Here is what he has to say about what's WHOLE Fit. has encouraged healthy living in their local community and how it will impact several communities in the future.
Q: What caused you and the other co-founders to drop what you were doing and start this organization that currently has impacted thousands of people?
"What's actually funny is that we thought of the idea in a car ride. We had just finished playing ultimate Frisbee, and on our way back home, Kush’s mom mentioned that she wanted to start a nutrition club at Northview [High School] because she feels like high school students are not living healthy lifestyles due to stress and always staying indoors. At first, I thought that it wasn't an important issue, but I decided to do some research on physical and mental health. I found out that a lot of high school students do not eat their daily recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, and they don't play outside and stay active for an hour per day. It makes them feel more and more stressed and unhealthy which could lead to future [health] issues. I mentioned this to some of my friends asking if they felt they were living healthy lifestyles, and most of them said no, saying they got no sleep, ate junk food all the time and rarely worked out. After this realization, I decided, along with my friends Shiva and Kush, to do something about it. That's how WHOLE Fit came to be."
Q: Did you expect WHOLE Fit to be as successful as it currently is?
"I had no idea WHOLE Fit would be as big as it is right now. It has impacted so many more people, and it has brought a community of people together to help each other out which is truly amazing to see."
Q: So what activities does WHOLE Fit engage in with local families and friends to spread awareness about maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
"WHOLE Fit aims to hold a variety of events and activities to show that staying fit both physically and mentally can be accomplished in many different ways. We have held our own field day where we taught several different outdoor games to stay active. We have distributed water bottles and fruit to members of the Sri Sai Temple of Atlanta to stay hydrated and eat well. We have also taught children the importance of eating healthy foods and staying active in WHOLE Fit classes at the Radha Krishna Temple."
Q: How has the organization impacted the people who took the chance and decided to become part of the WHOLE Fit family?
"WHOLE Fit has had a huge impact on us as founders. We've become more aware about our bodies and the importance of working out more and eating the right foods. We've also been able to spread our mission and impact several people in the community. For example, we educated people at the International Day of Yoga about the importance of daily yoga and exercise. We taught people how to stay hydrated and eat healthy at the Shirdi Sai Temple of Atlanta where we distributed 100 bottles of water and 40 pounds of apples and oranges!"
Q: There are many non-profit organizations that have the same goals as WHOLE Fit. They're goals that everyone wants to accomplish — living healthy every day. What makes WHOLE Fit different from other organizations?
"Unlike other organizations, a large part of WHOLE Fit is youth-led, meaning that we strive to communicate and plan all of our events through young adults. It creates a larger impact on the people we educate by showing that teenagers are focusing on their health rather than a bunch of adults saying it. We also strive to make all of our events free of cost. We do not want money to inhibit someone from getting knowledge on keeping your body clean and healthy."
Q: What challenges have you and the other co-founders overcome to be where you are right now?
"One of the challenges we have faced at first is our age. A lot of people thought that, because we're 16 years old, we did not know what we were talking about and that everything was being 'done' by our parents. However, once they actually listened to us and saw our results made through our efforts, they soon realized that we knew what we were talking about."
Q: So what's the dream for the future of WHOLE Fit? Where do you see it going?
"For future plans, we want to start five WHOLE Fit clubs this year, four in Georgia and one in New York. We also plan to speak to elementary school kids this year about the importance of staying fit at a young age. WHOLE Fit also aims to have a booth at the Vibha Dream Mile and Willstock."
WHOLE Fit has successfully started one of their five potential chapters at Chattahoochee High School!
Q: If people want to find out more and become part of the WHOLE Fit family, where should they go and who should they contact?
"They can check out our website at www.wholefitinc.org or check out our Instagram and Facebook @wholefitinc for more information about our upcoming events and announcements. They can also contact me at 678-276-6895 for more info."