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What is Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (7TH DECEMBER)
The Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India is celebrated on 7th December every year throughout the country. This day is celebrated in honour of the Indian Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Martyrs who bravely fought and are still fighting on the borders to protect the citizens of India and the pride of the nation. While protecting the motherland, these brave heroes sacrifice their lives leaving behind their old parents, widows and children suffering.
Thus, we citizens are under an obligation to show care, respect and support towards the brave soldiers and martyrs and also to their loved ones. On this day, funds are collected for the betterment of the war-widows, children of the Martyrs, war-disabled soldiers, and ex-servicemen.
After the Independence of India, management of the welfare of the Defence Personnel became important for the government. On 28th August 1949, the Indian Government set up a committee under the defence minister to look upon this issue. The Committee suggested that a Armed Forces Flag Day should be celebrated annually. The objective behind this was to distribute flags to the public and invite donations for the welfare of the defence personnel and their dependents.
SIGNIFICANCE AND PURPOSE
The Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated to serve the following three basic purposes:
- Rehabilitation of battle casualties
- Welfare of serving personnel and their families
- Resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
Victories in different wars, cross-border tensions, intrusion by terrorist groups, surgical strikes are some of the other major unfortunate events that result in loss of lives, permanent disabilities and irreparable injuries to our brave soldiers. The deaths of the soldiers traumatise their families and leave many homes without a bread earner. The disabled and injured Army men require medical treatments and surgeries. They need to be rehabilitated so that their families are not burdened. Many Ex-servicemen suffering from serious diseases such as Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer etc are unable to afford the exorbitant costs of the surgeries.
On the Armed Forces Flag Day, the three branches of the Armed Forces of India i.e. the Army, Navy and the Air Force organise a number of cultural and entertainment programmes and shows for the general public. All this is done to showcase the efforts of the Army Personnel undertaken to ensure the safety of the nation. 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.
It is a time for the general public to thank and appreciate the current and veteran Army Men of India and to acknowledge the efforts of the Martyrs. General Public and volunteer sell the coupon flags, stickers, and other items all over India to collect the donations. This helps to raise the fund collection from the common citizens in many ways. These funds are used for the welfare of the staff of the Indian Armed Forces.
ARMED FORCES FLAG DAY FUND
Defence Minister’s Committee set up the original Flag Day Fund in 1949. In 1993, all the related welfare funds were consolidated into a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund by the Defence Ministry of India. Those funds are:
- 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.
Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), a part of the Ministry of Defence, is responsible for the administration of the fund collection all over India. The collected fund help in giving financial assistance to needy Ex-Servicemen, War widows and their Dependents; and the Institutions involved in rehabilitating the Ex-Servicemen, War widows and their Dependents.
Managing Committee is responsible for managing the collected fund. The Chairman and the vice-chairmen are Minister of Defence and Minister of State for Defence respectively. Members of the committee are three Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary, Secretary, Ex-Servicemen Welfare / MoD and the other senior Central Govt officials.