Children’s Day, also known as ‘Bal Diwas,’ is an annual celebration observed in India on November 14. This day holds special significance as it not only serves to appreciate and recognize the invaluable presence of children but also marks the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, affectionately referred to as ‘Chacha Nehru’ by children.
Born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India, Pandit Nehru was a staunch advocate for children’s rights and an ardent supporter of an inclusive education system that ensures knowledge accessibility for all. In one of his memorable speeches, he expressed, “Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow.”
The decision to celebrate Children’s Day on Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday was made following his demise in 1964. Prior to this, India observed Children’s Day on November 20, aligning with ‘World Children’s Day’ recognized globally by the United Nations. However, after Nehru’s passing, the parliament passed a resolution designating his birthday as the official Children’s Day in the country, a tradition that has since been upheld.
During Nehru’s leadership, he played a pivotal role in establishing several institutions of national importance, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Fondly known as “Chacha Nehru,” his influence on education in India is profound.
On Children’s Day, a day dedicated to nurturing the future leaders of the nation, children are showered with love, gifts, and affection. Schools nationwide organize special events, programs, and competitions such as debates, seminars, dance, music, essay writing, speech, and painting contests. The gifts often include eatables, books, and cards, creating a festive atmosphere.
Children’s Day serves as an occasion to sow the seeds of virtue in the young minds that will shape the destiny of the nation, embodying the spirit of Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision for a bright and inclusive future.