Children’s Day or Bal Diwas is celebrated on 14th of November every year which is the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. He was fondly called Chacha Nehru or Chachaji.
Chacha Nehru was very fond of children and always considered them to be the future of new India. Because of this, after his death in 1964, it was decided that in India, children’s day will be celebrated on his birth anniversary every year.
Chacha Nehru was very helpful and serious towards educating children. He helped in the establishment of many prominent educational institutions in India. The sole purpose was to provide high quality education to the youth so that a new and better India can be built by them.
Keeping in mind this vision Pandit Nehru set up the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, or AIIMS, the Indian Institute of Technology,and Indian Institute of Management.
Pandit Nehru also placed commitment of free and compulsory primary education to all children. To fulfil this commitment, hundreds of schools were built and mass enrolment of villages took place. This was done so that the children’s present in the villages can join the schools. Apart from free education he also initiated free milk and meals to children.
Ideally, the sole purpose of celebrating Children’s day was to increase the awareness towards the children – by all. That the childrenget cared without prejudice,and each and every one of them, whatever the background, will get proper education and food.
On children’s day, every school distribute chocolates and many eventstake place involving children. Also, clothes, toys and books are distributed to needy children, if not in all the places but in a few places.
However, from my point of view, the challenges which were faced by the children in 1964 have changed drastically. In fact, more got added to it. While the old problems were not solved properly, new problems have started appearing.
A lot of debates are happening on below points;
- How to safeguard children’s rights, specially increase in crimes against them
- Poor children’s sufferings from malnutrition and various diseases because of their living standards
- Unavailability of playgrounds for children where they can play and also hone their creativity
- To reduce the burden of heavy bags they have to carry and provide them with more playing time
- An easy method of teaching
- Proper meals for them for there growth
But in many places, these points are still debated and steps are not taken. In many places were free meals are given, they are of substandard quality. If we speak about in general terms then study materials are becoming costlier.
To realise Pandit Nehru’s dream of free education and meal to children, lot more is required to be done. Government and NGO’s are doing their bit of work but we as a common citizen will also have to contribute towards the younger generation.