Armed Forces Flag Day in India
The Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated all over India every year on 7th of December in order to collect the funds from people all around the country for the well being of the staff of the Indian Armed Forces. It was first celebrated in India on 7th of December in the year 1949. Since 1949, it has become a ritual in order to memorialize this day in the great honour of the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the India.
It is enthusiastically celebrated throughout the country intending to tribute the courageous and martyred soldiers, to salute the expert soldiers as well as to refurbish the harmony of citizens.
Armed Forces Flag Day 2018
Armed Forces Flag Day is also known as the Flag Day in India and was celebrated in 2018 on Friday, the 7th of December.
The day was celebrated will zeal and zest across the country to commemorate the sacrifices and bravery of brave soldiers of the armed forces during war and peace time.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) notified all the universities across the country to observe the day to pay tribute to the soldiers who safeguard our borders and to those who sacrificed their lives in the course. The UGC letter said, “7th December is to be observed as ‘Armed Forces Day’ to commemorate the supreme sacrifices made by our valiant Armed Forces personnel for protecting the sovereignty and integrity of our country”. UGC instructed the universities to organize ceremonies or functions and hold talks to spread awareness on the topic.
Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman appealed to the people of India to contribute to the ‘Armed Forces Fund’ and honour our armed forces for their sacrifices and bravery and also insisted to wear the ‘Armed Forces Flag’ as a tribute to our soldiers for their supreme sacrifices made in protecting their mother land.
The President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister and other dignitaries from political parties paid tribute to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifices to serve their motherland and requested people to donate wholeheartedly to the Flag Day Fund. Renowned Sand Artist Sudarshan Pattnaik paid tribute to the armed forces by his sand sculptor in which he saluted the heroes of the Indian forces.
People across the nation contributed wholeheartedly to the ‘Indian Armed Forces Fund’ and wore the Armed Forces Flag on the occasion. The Prakasham District in Andhra Pradesh bagged the Flag Day award for the highest contribution made to the ‘Indian Armed Forces Fund’ for the third year in a row. The district collected Rs. 12,66,381 this year from the people of the district. The Home Minister of the state recognized the big heart of the public of Prakasham district by presenting an award to the district’s Sainik Welfare Department.
Why the Celebration is named as Armed Forces Flag Day?
This event celebration is named as Armed Forces Flag Day as this day aimed to collect fund from the people throughout the India just by selling the Indian special colorful flags, labels and stickers. Now it has become a prestigious annual celebration in India for the well-being of the National life, providing rehabilitation to the battle victims, well-being of helping personnel of Armed Forces and their families as well as the resettlement and welfare of the ex-servicemen personnel and their families.
The personnel serving in the Navy, Army and Air Force of India never think about their lives while protecting the country. Many lives of the Indian army personnel had lost all through the Chinese violence of the year 1962, Indo-Pak Conflict of the year 1965 and 1971, Kargil War of the year 1998 and many more. Many homes of the India had left broken during these wars, number of serving personnel became disabled, handicapped. So, this Flag Day celebration in India bring a lot of hope in the lives of those victims who had sacrificed their precious lives for the better tomorrow of the country.
The Armed Forces Flag Day celebration strengthens the cultural bond among the people of India and the staffs of armed forces. This celebration plays a great role in enhancing the welfare of the serving personnel of Indian armed forces.
History of the Armed Forces Flag Day
The First World War, which is celebrated every year as an Armistice Day on 11th of November, was named as Poppy Day because the souvenirs of poppies were operated to benefit the ex army men as well as their relatives. But this day was incompatible for freedom of the country. So, after getting the freedom from British authority, the Indian Government had decided to pay attention towards the army men and their relatives.
The Ministry of Defense had decided under the special commission of 28th of August 28 in 1949 that a Flag Day would be celebrated annually on 7th of December to collect fund from the common public by selling the India flags for the well-being of the staff of armed forces. Army men in India perform their duty for the safety and security of the Indian people so it is also the duty of common people towards the army men who are ready to sacrifice their lives in the battle.
Importance and Objectives of Armed Forces Flag Day in India
Armed Forces Flag Day in India is celebrated yearly to remember all the sacrifices of the personnel of Army, Air Force and navy towards the country. This event is organized to get the common public collaboration and support throughout the country for the following purposes:
- To make available the rehabilitation to the families of battle victims.
- To offer welfare to the serving personnel as well as their relatives.
- To help in the resettlement and well-being of the ex-servicemen and their relatives.
During the celebration of this event common people and volunteer go for the collection of donations by selling the coupon flags or car stickers all through the India. The common aim of this day is to elevate the fund collection from the general public or potential donors in various ways. All the funds collected at this day are used for the wellbeing of the staffs of the Indian Armed Forces. Flag Day is also observed to memorize their difficult duties, sacrifices as well as pay honor to the brave and martyrs army men of the country.
How it is celebrated
During the celebrations of Armed Forces Flag Day the staff from the Indian Military (the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army, the Indian Navy) arrange a variety of traditional and cultural programs, plays, festivals, and various pleasure activities to show to the general people of India about their safety.
The Indian Military personnel take part in distributing the Indian small and colorful flags or vehicle flags (red, deep blue, light blue denoting the three divisions of Indian Army) throughout the country. Courageous and brave fighters represents to the common people that how they have sacrificed their lives to protect the normal lives of the country.
Armed Forces Flag Day Fund
The Armed Forces Flag Day Fund was first set up in the year 1949 by the committee of Defense Minister. All the related welfare funds (Funds for war bereaved, kendriya sainik board fund, ex-servicemen or serving personnel of armed forces, Flag Day fund, Indian Gorkha ex-servicemen’s welfare fund, war disabled and etc) were combined to make a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund in the year 1993 by the Defense Ministry of India.
Local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (as element of the Defense Ministry) manage the fund collection all through the country, which is part of the Ministry of Defense. It is operated by the managing committee and organized by both the official and non-official voluntary organizations.
Anyone can contribute by various means just by visiting the site http://ksb.gov.in and contribute to the cause. The contribution to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund is income tax exempted under section 80(G). Contributions made to the fund are eligible for deduction under section 80G. You can claim the deduction by submitting the details at the time of filing Income Tax return.
Armed Forces Week
The Armed Forces Week is a week-long celebration which starts from 01st Dec and continues till 07th December.
The Armed Forces Week is a tribute to the Indian Armed Forces who always stand strong to safeguard the nation from enemy forces. They not only protect the nation in the war times but also give their strong hands during natural calamities and other disasters. Countrymen wear the armed forces flags during the celebration to spread awareness about the valour and bravery of our soldiers and pay their respect to the brave sons and daughters of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
The week-long celebration also encourages people to contribute freely to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund so that it can support the families of the martyrs who happily sacrificed their lives serving their motherland. The fund is also used for promoting welfare activities to the ex-serviceman who devoted their whole life serving their nation.