Children's Day (India)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Children's Day
Observed by India
TypeNational
SignificanceTo increase awareness about the rights, education and welfare of children
Date14 November
Next time14 November 2022 (2022-11-14)
FrequencyAnnual

Children's Day is celebrated across India to increase awareness about the rights, education, and welfare of children.[1][2] It is celebrated on 14 November every year on the birthday of the First Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Known as 'Chacha Nehru' among children, Nehru advocated for children to have all-rounded education that would build a better society in the future.[3] Nehru considered children as real strength of a nation and foundation of society.[4] On this day, many educational and motivational programs for children are held across India.

History[edit]

On 5 November 1948, the first Children's Day was observed as "Flower Day" by the predecessor of Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW) to collect funds for United Nations Appeal for Children (UNAC) through the sale of "flower tokens". On 30 July 1949, "Children's Day" was widely celebrated and publicised through radio, articles, cinema, etc.[5]

Jawaharlal Nehru hands out sweets to students at Nongpoh in Meghalaya

In 1951, V.M.Kulkarni, a United Nations Social Welfare Fellow, while carrying out a study on the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents in the UK, realized that there was no system to look after underprivileged children of India. Inspired by the Flag Day observed in England on Queen Elizabeth II's birthday to raise money for “Save the Child Fund”, Kulkarni presented a report recommending that Pandit Nehru’s birthday could be marked as Flag Day for collecting funds for NGOs working for child welfare in India. When Nehru’s consent was sought, he was at first embarrassed but then conceded reluctantly.[6]

In 1957, 14 November (Nehru's birthday) was officially declared Children’s Day in India by a special government edict.[7] In New Delhi thousands of children gathered at Prime Minister Nehru's residence to felicitate him on his 68th birthday. A number of functions were arranged in the capital to celebrate Children's Day, including the one at the National Stadium which was attended by the Prime Minister.[8] The Government of India's Department of Posts and Telegraphs issued first day covers and three commemorative stamps on the occasion of Bal Din ("Children's Day").[9]

Nehru and children[edit]

Origami Competition for school children organised to mark the Children's Day (Bal Diwas), Delhi, 14 November 2004

Jawaharlal Nehru had immense hope and confidence in the children of India because they "can play together without thinking of differences".[10] He established Children's Film Society India in 1955 so that Indian children could see themselves represented. He enabled the establishment of some very prominent educational institutions in India. It was his vision that led to the establishment of AIIMS for medicine, the IITs for engineering and the IIMs for management studies. Nehru's legacy continues to educate the children of India.

He is known to have said, "The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country."[11] This philosophy is expressed in the letters written by him to Indira Gandhi, his daughter, when she was a young girl. The letters were also published as books. Letters from a Father to His Daughter (1929) and Glimpses of World History (1934) have gained fame as children’s non-fiction because, as Deepa Agarwal writes, "any child can respond to their warm, affectionate tone and his lucid and spontaneous style. The wealth of information woven into them and his unique approach to historical facts is an added bonus... communicating humanist values".[12]

Google Doodle[edit]

In November 2018, Google's doodle on Children's Day was designed to depict a child looking at a sky dotted with stars with a telescope. Crafted by a student from Mumbai, the design had won the 2018 ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition in India for her fascination with space exploration.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bal Diwas to mark chacha Nehru's B'day on Nov 14". The Times of India. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Nobel Peace laureate Satyarthi celebrates Children's Day with slum kids". Aninews.in. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Why November 14 celebrated as Children's Day?". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Children's Day 2021: Date, history and significance". India Today. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  5. ^ Barooah, Pramila Pandit (1999). Handbook on Child, with Historical Background. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-7022-735-9.
  6. ^ Joshi, Shirish (12 November 2005). "How did Children's Day begin". The Tribune.
  7. ^ Ruttonsha, Goshasp N. Satarawala (1965). Aspects of Child Welfare. Rochouse.
  8. ^ "India Celebrates Children's Day". India News. 2 (21). 1 December 1957. p. 2.
  9. ^ "Children's Day Stamps". India News. 3 (1). 1 January 1958. p. 3.
  10. ^ "Why November 14 celebrated as Children's Day?". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  11. ^ "When Is Children's Day". Business Standard India. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Great Storytellers for Children: Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru". The Indian Express. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Children's Day 2018 celebrated with a Google doodle on space exploration". The Indian Express. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.