Indian Armed Forces Day – 7 December
Since 1949, 7 December is celebrated as The Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India. The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations. This day is dedicated to India towards the collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel.
On December 7, 2014, 50,000 people formed a human (Indian) national flag setting Guinness Record for Largest Human Flag in the world.
Significance of Indian Armed Forces Flag Day
A large number of people wish to join defence forces, but it not possible for each and everyone due to one or more reasons. However, this is the way for civilians to feel connected and be a part of our defence forces to honour the martyrs and the uniform personnel.
The fund collected on this day is utilised for providing financial assistance to needy Ex-Servicemen, War widows and their Dependents; and the Institutions involved in the rehabilitation of the Ex-Servicemen, War widows and their Dependents. The fund is also diverted towards the rehabilitation of disabled defence personnel, serving or retired.
In 1993, the Defence Ministry of India consolidated related welfare funds into a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund. Those funds 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.
Events On Armed Forces Flag Day
Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) holds the responsibility of fund management to formulate and operate various welfare and rehabilitation schemes for Ex-Servicemen (ESM) and their dependents. There is a network of 32 Rajya Sainik Boards (RSBs) and 385 Zila Sainik Boards (ZSBs) co-located in the State Capitals and District HQs respectively, across the country to divert the funds to needy person even in far-flung areas of the country.
The management of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund rests with the Managing Committee whose Chairman is Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Vice Chairman is Hon Raksha Rajya Mantri, and members include three Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary, Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Welfare / MoD and the other senior Central Govt officials.
Armed Forces formations and units also arrange variety shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes. Token Flags and Car Stickers in red, deep blue and light colours, representing the three Services are distributed to the public throughout the country by the Kendriya Sainik Board.