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Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru on Children’s Day

To commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 every year in the country.

Various events and activities are organized throughout the day in recognition of his lifelong passion and work for the welfare, education and development of children and young people.

Born on November 14, 1889, Jawaharlal Nehru was fondly called Chacha Nehru as he was known for his love for children.

Hailing from a family of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, Jawahar was the eldest of four children born to Pandit Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani.

A people’s prime minister, statesman, intellectual and scholar, Jawaharlal was also one of the recognized world leaders of his time. His policies on economy, science and technology, international relations and education designed the future course of the country.

A prolific writer in English, Pandit Nehru had written several books such as ‘The Discovery of India’, ‘Glimpses of World History’, and his autobiography, ‘Toward Freedom’.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said “The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country”.

During his tenure as prime minister, he had made a five-year-plan which includes free primary education and free meals including milk to the school children in order to prevent them from malnutrition.

Nehru strongly believed in scientific knowledge and propagated reasoning and rationality as the basis of all learning.

He also believed that the role of education in an individual’s life was not restricted to academia alone but extended to one’s economic ambitions and social contributions as well.

Along with ensuring that every child in the country gets free primary education, Nehru also had established several higher educational institutions including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM).

Universal Children’s Day was celebrated by the United Nations on November 20 before 1964, but after the death of Nehru in 1964, it was unanimously decided to celebrate his birthday as Bal Diwas in the country because of his love and affection towards children.

Manmath Nayak

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