Armed Forces Flag Day -December 7 is an important day for Indians-Puri
Jaswant Singh Puri
Soldiers are one of the greatest assets of any nation. They are the real super-heroes of a country. So they deserve honour and respect and we must be indebted to them for their gallantry that lay down their lives in the service towards motherland. Thus Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated every year which involves all the three branches of the Indian Armed Forces – the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy. They organise a varied hues of shows, carnivals and other lively programmes to show to the people their selfless efforts to upkeep the honour of their country so that people remain safe from the invasions of other countries. They even perform duties during disaster and calamities like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes etc. To pay honour to the martyrs and the men in uniform who fought valiantly and continue to fight on our borders to safeguard the honour of the nation, 7th December is observed as the Armed Forces Flag Day or The Flag Day of India.
It is our sincere duty to show our admiration for the martyrs and living heroes who were wounded on duty but also their families who are committed to their motherland so that their countrymen live in peace and safety.
Flag Day is celebrated to commemorate the martyrs and we should bring to the forefront our confirmed commitment to look after our soldiers of all the three forces, valiant women and the families of martyrs who died for a national cause for the country. So 7th December is observed as Flag Day to pay respects to our soldiers on the borders and those who have made brave sacrifices.
So there is a need to collect funds on Flag Day of India for the families of those martyrs who met their end in counter-insurgency operations, for disabled heroes of the war and their dependents. It is the collective duty of every citizen to ensure welfare of the dependents of brave martyrs and disabled personnel. The Flag Day imparts us a real opportunity to donate liberally to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund. The voluntary contributions are really important to provide care, rehabilitation and financial assistance to families of armed personnel in times of need.
The Armed Forces Flag Day Fund is run by the managing committee of Kendriya Sainik Board which is headed by the Defence Minister and Governor of the State or Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory. There is a requirement to keep our Armed Forces vibrant who are retired at 35-40 years of age. They are young and full of energy even at this age and possess qualities of discipline, bravery and courage. About six thousand Defence Personnel get retirement every year. They have to be looked after along with their families. It is our national responsibility to care for them. The Flag Day is thus observed with a cause to collect funds for three main purposes as rehabilitation of battle casualties, taking care of serving personnel and their families, resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
The Flag Day in India assumes paramount importance since it is the day to raise collections for the betterment of armed forces. On this day of significance, small flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours distributed in return for donations. The three colours represent the three services – red for Indian Army, navy blue for Indian Navy and light blue for Indian Air Force.
The welfare schemes are funded from Armed Forces Flag Day Fund which was instituted on 13 April, 1993. Kendriya Sainik Board controls Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) to impart assistance to Ex-servicemen, war widows and their dependents. The Flag Day of India thus carries broad – spectrum importance for our armed forces who are the real pillars of a nation as they are the defence mechanism of a country.
Note: This article is dedicated to Smt. Alka Puri, M.A. (Hindi, B.Ed.) who was the Secretary, Ladies Club, Punjabi University, Patiala during the tenure of Vice Chancellor Dr. S.S. Johal, awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2004. Smt. Alka Puri was the wife of Dr. Ajit Singh Puri and mother of Jaswant Singh Puri.