Children's Day Essay
In India, Children's Day is celebrated on the 14th of November every year. It is the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. He was very enamoured of children, and his love and affection for children were known to all. This day is celebrated with great enthusiasm in all the places related to children, like in schools, child NGOs, juvenile homes, child care homes, etc. Various programs, dramas, and fancy-dress competitions are held on this day. It is the day to celebrate the future of the country.
History of the Celebration
The 14th of November was officially declared Children's Day in 1957, but the history of the celebration of Children's Day goes back much earlier.
The Indian Council of Child Welfare used to celebrate the day for children as Flower Day on the 5th of November. The first time, it was celebrated in 1948. It was an initiative for the collection of funds for children's welfare. The funds were collected by selling flower tokens, and the money collected was donated to the United Nations Appeal for Children (UNAC).
Later, the Children's Day celebration date was shifted to the 30th of July in 1949.
In 1951, V. M. Kulkarni advocated the idea of celebrating Children's Day on the 14th of November. He was the United Nations' Social Welfare Fellow doing research on the rehabilitation of Juvenile offenders in England. The reason behind his proposal included one special moment in England: he observed that the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated as Flag Day to raise funds for the welfare of the children under the name of Save the Child Fund. He realized that there was no officially dedicated arrangement to help underprivileged children in India.
Then, Kulkarni prepared a report and presented it to the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He proposed to celebrate Pandit Nehru's birthday as a special day for children to raise funds through NGOs that can be utilized for the welfare of the underprivileged children, inspired by England's Flag Day. At first, Pandit Nehru was embarrassed because people might consider later that this was done to glorify his name, but after some time, he agreed to his proposal.
In 1954, this day (14th November) was celebrated under the name Children's Day; before that, it was just a day for raising funds for children. On this day in 1954, around 50,000 children gathered for the celebration at National Stadium in Delhi.
In 1957, the Government of India officially announced that the 14th of November would be celebrated as National Children's Day or Bal Diwas and a day of national importance every year. Department of Post and Telegraph of the Government of India launched three commemorative stamps to tribute to Bal Diwas.
Pandit Nehru's Love for Children
Pandit Nehru's love for children was very hearted, and he was called Chacha Nehru by the children fondly. He was the imminent contributor to India's freedom struggle, and he had dreamed of India being a progressive and developed country. He considered children to be the torch bearer and the primary asset for the country's development, which was why he was concerned about children. He established Children's Films Society India in 1955 to represent children on the national stage.
In M.O. Mathai's authored book named My Days with Nehru, it is claimed that Nehru sees the future of India in the sparkling eyes of the innocent faces of the children. He wanted to create such an ecosystem where children could flourish themselves with proper education and healthcare facility.
In reply to an interviewer in 1958, he said, "The children of today will make the India of tomorrow, and the way we bring them up will determine the country's future". This shows how much he was concerned about the holistic development of the children.
Children's Day Celebrations
Children's day is celebrated in all schools, colleges, NGOs, children's shelter homes, and even juvenile prisons. In schools, all the children and teachers get free from their regular work and participate in the celebration on this day. Various drama, dance, singing, sports, speech and fancy dress competitions are organized. Many children come to school in the get-up of Pandit Nehru. Many children come to the school in Indian traditional attire with the famous Nehru jacket and a red rose in the upper front pocket, which was the signature dressing style of Chacha Nehru. Teachers also perform various acts to entertain children in the schools. Then, Sweets and gifts are distributed among the children.
Several NGOs organize feasts for underprivileged and poor children. They also collect funds from the public for the children. People also distribute food, gifts, and study materials to these children.
Children's Day in the World
First-time children's day was celebrated on the second Sunday of June in 1857 in the world by reverend Dr Charles Leonard, the pastor of Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea. At that time, it was named Rose Day, then it was renamed Flower Sunday, and after some years, it was called Children's Day.
Turkey was the first country to officially declare Children's Day as a national holiday on the 23rd of April in 1920.
Till 1959, children's day was celebrated by countries at the national level only, and there was no official day declared for children at the international level. On the 20th of November 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It officially declared the day of the 20th of November to be celebrated as World Children's Day.
The idea behind the Children's Day Celebration
Children's day is celebrated as not merely a day for children. It is the day to remind everyone in the world that the future of any family, state, or nation is based on the type of environment children get in their years of growth. The children are the mirror of any country's future. For the development of any nation, the children of that country must get proper education, nutritional food, and healthcare facilities.