Hey there, little buddies! Guess what? November 14th is no ordinary day – it's Children's Day, the coolest celebration ever! Why, you ask? Because it's all about YOU and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was like the superhero of friends, and we all lovingly called him 'Chacha Nehru' or "Uncle Nehru."
Children's Day is a fun time for students in schools, colleges, and other important places for children to celebrate. Pandit Nehru, who was not only a leader but also a friend to children, was affectionately referred to as 'Chacha Nehru' by them.
Fondly referred to as Chacha Nehru or "Uncle Nehru" by children, he derived immense joy from their trust and affection. Serving as India's Prime Minister, Nehru was unwavering in his commitment to ensuring the well-being of children remained a paramount concern for the nation. In 1955, he established the Children's Film Society of India, aiming to provide young Indians with films that mirrored their own experiences and narratives.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s vision emphasized the pivotal role of education in shaping character, paving the way for a brighter future for all. In line with this spirit, Oswaal Books introduces Lil Legends Books, a collection designed to nurture young minds and foster a love for learning.
History of Children’s Day:
On November 5, 1948, the forerunner of the Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW) marked the inaugural Children's Day as 'Flower Day.' The event featured the sale of 'flower tokens' to gather funds for the United Nations Appeal for Children (UNAC), aimed at supporting underprivileged children.
Subsequently, on July 30, 1949, Children's Day gained widespread recognition, marked by radio broadcasts, articles, and cinema involvement.
In 1951, V. M. Kulkarni, a United Nations Social Welfare Fellow, identified the absence of a system to care for underprivileged children in India. Inspired by England's Flag Day, which raised funds for the 'Save the Child Fund' on Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, Kulkarni proposed celebrating Pandit Nehru's birthday as Flag Day to generate funds for NGOs dedicated to child welfare. Initially hesitant, Nehru eventually acquiesced.
Although Nehru's birthday had been celebrated since 1947 with public meetings and children's games, it wasn't until 1954 that it was formally designated 'Children's Day.' The National Stadium in Delhi hosted over 50,000 schoolchildren for the festivities.
In 1957, November 14th was officially proclaimed Children's Day in India, accompanied by the issuance of special stamps by the government to commemorate the occasion.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Children
Jawaharlal Nehru, affectionately known as Chacha Nehru or 'Uncle Nehru' by children, garnered immense love from them, and their unwavering trust brought him immense joy. During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Nehru advocated for continuous attention to children and their well-being. In 1955, he established the 'Children’s Film Society of India' to present relatable characters for Indian kids in movies.
Nehru firmly believed that investing in the welfare of children and their mothers was pivotal for India's future, asserting that the upbringing of today's children shapes the destiny of the nation.
His expressions of parental care extended to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, as seen in the renowned books 'Letters from a Father to His Daughter' and 'Glimpses of World History,' which originated from the letters he wrote to her during her youth. These books are cherished by children for their warm and friendly tone, enriched with abundant information and a unique perspective on history.
However, critics like Sir Walter Crocker, as mentioned in Nehru's biography, held a contrary view, asserting that Nehru did not dedicate much time to children and did not genuinely enjoy their company. Some believed that his interactions with children, particularly during public events, seemed somewhat staged, suggesting that his interest in children might not have been as profound as it appeared on such occasions.
Demands to Change the Children’s Day Date
In 2018, a collective of 60 Members of Parliament affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contemplate the designation of December 26 as Children's Day. Their proposal was rooted in commemorating the sacrifice of the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, referred to as Chhote Sahibzaade, on that day.
The aim was to celebrate the spirit of childhood on December 26. Concurrently, they suggested maintaining the observance of November 14 as "Chacha Diwas," honoring Jawaharlal Nehru's role as Chacha Nehru or "Uncle Nehru" to children. This dual celebration would acknowledge both historical significance and the enduring legacy of leaders.
As we approach Children’s Day 2023, it is not merely a date on the calendar but a poignant reminder of the legacy left by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Let us celebrate not just a day dedicated to children, but a day that echoes the enduring spirit of a leader who envisioned a future where the laughter, dreams, and well-being of every child were cherished as the building blocks of a prosperous nation.