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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Children's Day

Children's day, in hindi known as "Bal Diwas", in India falls on November 14th every year and for good reason. Children's day in India is celebrated on Pandit Nehru's birthday as a day of fun and frolic, a celebration of childhood, children and Nehruji's love for them. About Jawahar Lal Nehru On November14, 1889, a son was born to an eminent lawyer, Motilal Nehru and his wife Swaroop Rani at Allahabad. They named him Jawaharlal. He was a brilliant, kindhearted child who was greatly loved by all. His father wanted to give him the best education and hence sent him to England for his M.A. from Cambridge. The British ruled India at that time.When he returned to India, young Jawaharlal realized that he wanted to help the poor and the downtrodden. He took part in the Freedom Struggle of India and became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi who had just returned from South Africa at that time. When India gained its independence, he became the first Prime Minister of free India. He was a perfect blend of eastern philosophical values and western scientific thinking and encouraged technological progress. But he was also a man of letters and a great poet and wrote some famous works like, ‘Glimpses of World History’ and ‘Discovery of India’. His letters to his daughter, Indira, were also compiled into a book and reflects his philosophical outlook, his compassion and above all, his tender heart.

 The Birth of Chacha Nehru: Chacha Nehru as the children fondly referred to him, was fond of both children and roses. In fact he often compared the two, saying that children were like the buds in a garden. They should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they were the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow. He felt that children are the real strength of a country and the very foundation of society. He was the ‘beloved’ of all the children who gave him the endearing name of ‘Chacha Nehru’.  

Celebrations: As a tribute to this great man and his love for the children, his birthday is celebrated all over India as ‘CHILDREN’S DAY’. Most schools have cultural programmes for the day, with the students managing it all. All over the country, various cultural, social, and even corporate, institutions conduct competitions for children. Children's Day is a day for children to engage in fun and frolic. Schools celebrate this day by organizing cultural programmes. Teachers of the school perform songs and dances for their students. Therefore, Children's Day is special. It is a day set aside to remember Pandit Nehru and his love for children. 


Universal Children's Day

The United Nations' (UN) Universal Children's Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children's welfare.

What do people do?

Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.
In some areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children's rights. These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or breastfeeding.
Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal Children's Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal Children's Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar observance, National Child's Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

Public life

Universal Children's Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children's Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.
At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children's Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children's Day has since been annually observed on November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate this day.
On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children's rights.

Symbols

Universal Children's Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund. UNICEF's logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN's blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

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