Every year on 7 December, India observes Armed Forces Flag Day to pay respects to the martyrs of the defence forces and honour the personnel in uniform. India has three wings of defence forces aimed at protecting the country’s air, land and water.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed an Armed Forces Flag Day event recently and praised the armed forces for their effective response in dealing with various security threats to the country.

Indian armed forces flag day: History and celebration

Hirav Shah explains, “Since 1949, 7 December is observed as the Armed Forces Flag Day throughout the country to honour the martyrs and the men in uniform who valiantly fought and continue to fight on our borders to safeguard the country’s honour.

History of the day

Armed Forces Flag Day has been observed every year in India since 1949. It started when a committee set up under the then defence minister on 28 August 1949 decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7.

At that time, the idea behind the day was to distribute small flags to the people of the country in return for some donation.

Over the years it gained more significance as it started to be considered that the civil population of India is responsible to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight and lay down their lives for the country.

Significance

Rehabilitation of battle casualties, the welfare of serving personnel and their families, and resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families – these are the three prime objectives of Flag Day.

Besides the collection of donations through the distribution of flags, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy organise shows, dramas, and other entertainment and educational functions for the general public.

The Flag Day fund, which was set up in 1949, is managed in the country by local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is a part of the Ministry of Defence.

The collection is organised both by official and non-official means through voluntary organisations.

The fund includes the 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, and Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Fund.

Contribute to the Flag Day Fund

Contributions for the Flag Day Fund are received throughout the year from the Public.

As per the Kendriya Sainik Board Secretariat website, contributions to the Fund are recommended to be sent through account payee cheques payable to”Armed Forces Flag Day Fund” C/o Secretary, Kendriya Sainik Board, Ministry of Defence, West Block IV, Wing-VII, 2nd Floor, RK Puram, New Delhi – 110066 or may be deposited directly into the following banks in favour of “ARMED FORCES FLAG DAY FUND” in account nos mentioned against them.

Photo Credit
Jinoytommanjaly, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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