December 7 marks the annual Armed Forces Flag day in India since 1949. It is commemorated to honour the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India and for their services. This year the Army is celebrating this entire week as Armed Forces Week from December 1 to December 7. It is celebrated throughout the country as a tribute the valor warriors, to salute the expert soldiers as well as to refurbish the harmony of citizens. It is also called as the Flag Day in India
Our admiration for the martyrs should not mean that we forget the living heroes who were wounded while on duty or their widows and children whom they left behind to fend for themselves.
The Flag day is mainly held for three basic purposes:
- Rehabilitation of battle casualties
- Welfare of serving personnel and their families
- Welfare and resettlement of ex-servicemen and their families.
Government measures at the Centre and the State level alone are inadequate to provide this support to the disabled, non-pensioner, old and infirm ESM, their families, war widows and orphaned children. It, therefore, becomes the collective responsibility of each citizen to make their voluntary contribution towards providing care, support, rehabilitation and financial help to them.
The Motive Behind Armed Forces Flag Day:
It is held to raise funds for the well-being of the serving soldiers, providing rehabilitation to the battle victims, and supporting their families as well as the resettlement and welfare of the ex-servicemen personnel and their families.
Flag Day celebration in India bring a lot of hope in the relatives of those victims who had sacrificed their precious lives for the better tomorrow of the country. The flag day in India strengthens the cultural bond among the people of India and the staffs of armed forces. This celebration enhances the welfare of the serving personnel of Indian armed forces.
How Flag Day Came into Existence?
The armed forces flag day derives its inspiration from Armistice Day on 11th of November held in commemoration of first world war. It was named as Poppy Day as poppy souvenirs were operated to benefit the retired soldiers and their relatives. After independence, the Indian Government decided under the special commission of August 28 in 1949 that a Flag Day would be celebrated annually on 7th of December.
It is in August 1949 that the then PM Pt Jawaharlal Nehru thought of distributing flags to the general public and collecting funds from them in return for the forces. What signifies flag day is the fact that it is the responsibility of the Indian citizens to take care of the personnel who fight for the country and their dependents.
This would aim to collect funds from the common public by selling the flags of India. These funds will be used for well-being of the staff of armed forces. Through this, Indians express their gratitude to the serving and retired soldiers of India and the martyrs by donating towards flag day fund.
Flag Day Fund:
The management of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund rests with the Managing Committee chaired by Defence Minister, Vice Chairman is Minister of State for Defence, and members include three Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary, Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Welfare and the other senior Central Govt officials.
In 1993, these funds, along with many other related welfare funds were merged into a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund, which include:
- Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel
- Flag Day Fund
- St Dunstan’s (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund
- Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Fund.
The Flag Day Today:
On the Flag Day the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security and to show to the general people of India about their safety. Throughout the country small flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services are distributed in exchange for donations.
Expressing their gratitude towards the soldiers are also the members of Indian Cricket Team playing test match. The Men in Blues, in a token of honour, are sporting the Armed Forces Flag badges on their test kit to reckon the unconditional assistance of the Indian Armed forces. Virat Kolhi and his team will be flaunting the honorary badge under the crest of the whites which will be fashioned throughout the test.
Not only the cricket team, but after having the portraits of PVC winners displayed on their walls, the Universities across the country will also organise different programmes in order to generate awareness about the supreme sacrifice and valour of our armed forces, among the youth. In the initiative ahead of Armed Forces Flag Day on December 7, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued directives to all universities for the same.
Setting an individual example, Samir Singh, an ultra marathon runner, started a 15,000 km run from Attari-Wagah border to raise funds for AFFD. Singh and his team of six runners started their Run from JCP Atari to cover 24 states & 7 UTs spanning 15,663 km. The run is expected to finish in April 2017.
Be a Part:
You can show your sense of pride by wearing the flag representing three services from1st to 7th December 2017. These flags are available at all government offices. Alternatively, you can also download the printable version of the flag from ksb.gov.in
The campaign will bring together the entire nation to express solidarity with the Armed Forces Personnel. In their honour, let’s wear flags representing the three services from December 1-7 with pride. The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB). Here is how you can obtain one for yourself and for your organization:
The link for online payment is – http://ksb.gov.in/fundPayment.htm
UPI Code – armedforcesflagdayfund@sbi
PayTM Number – 8800462175
Cheque – Account Number – 34420400623, SBI RK Puram branch