Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 commemorating the birthday of first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Known for his love and affection towards children, his birthday came to be celebrated as children’s day in the country. He was affectionately addressed as Chacha Nehru by children. Also, known as Bal Divas, the day is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in the country. Along with children’s day being a fun day for kids, it also tries to emphasize on children’s rights and needs. It talks about the importance of the right to education, care, and a safe childhood. Nehru is often cited as saying that children should be lovingly nurtured as they are nation’s future citizens.

Different countries celebrate Children’s Day on various dates. As per the United Nation’s recommendation, Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20. The United Kingdom first proclaimed children’s day in 1954 to encourage all countries to institute a day to promote mutual understanding among children and promote children’s welfare across the world. Indian Children day has its roots back to 1959. Prior the death of Jawahar Lal Nehru, India celebrated November 20 as children’s day as observed by United Nations. Following the death of Nehru in 1964, Nehru’s birthday was unanimously decided to be celebrated as Bal Diwas or children day in India.

Children’s Day celebrations in India

Children’s day is celebrated with much enthusiasm by schools in India. Cultural programs, various events, workshops are held on this day. Some distribute roses among children as it is believed that Nehru was fond of it. In some schools, children dress up as Chacha Nehru depicting the day’s importance. Games and sporting events are also held in schools to involve children in the celebrations. Schools also distribute sweets among children.

Delhi has planned to hold cultural and extracurricular activities on November 14 at more than 100 locations across the city. Schools and colleges will remain close to letting children enjoy the day. However, in the view of smog in the national capital, it is not sure if the activities planned for children will be held. Also, this year, children will ring the NSE (National Stock Exchange) bell and take a round of the NSE building accompanied by senior UNICEF and NSE officials on November 14, as per reports. The ‘KidsTakeOverNSE’ event is being organized to celebrate the Children’s Day as part of the UNICEF’s initiative to let children hold high-visibility roles in various fields.