New Delhi: Ever since the year 1949, India has been observing December 7 as the Armed Forces Flag Day to honour the martyrs and the men in uniform who valiantly fought and continue to fight on the borders to safeguard the country’s honour. It is celebrated as a day dedicated towards voluntary collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India. However, this year the Centre has announced that the whole month would be celebrated as ‘Armed Forces Flag Day’ to honour the sacrifices by armed forces in the line of duty.Also Read - Indian Army Recruitment 2021: Army Invites Applications For Non-departmental Officer Posts | Details Here

To commemorate this day Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the Indian Armed Forces and expressed gratitude to the armed forces and their families. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Armed Forces Flag Day is a day to express gratitude to our armed forces and their families. India is proud of their heroic service and selfless sacrifice. Do contribute towards the welfare of our forces. This gesture will help so many of our brave personnel and their families.” Also Read - Indian Army Recruitment 2021: Become an Officer in Indian Army Without Giving Exam| Watch Video to Know How

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also paid tribute to the Armed forces and reminded the country to ensure the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families. “On the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day, I salute the valour and service of the Indian Armed Forces. This day reminds us of our solemn duty to ensure the welfare of Ex-Servicemen, differently-abled soldiers and the families of those who lost their lives defending the nation,” the Defence Minister tweeted. Also Read - BREAKING: Drone Spotted Near IAF Station in Jammu Again

Earlier last week, Singh had appealed to the people to contribute towards Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) to honour sacrifices made by soldiers in the line of duty and that the day would be celebrated throughout December. Speaking to ANI, Singh had said, “Centre and States along with Sainik Board will celebrate ‘Armed Forces Flag Day’ throughout December. It’s our national responsibility to support families of our security personnel, who have lost their lives or suffered injuries in the line of duty.”

To celebrate this day which is also known as Flag Day of India, all three branches of the Indian armed forces – the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy – arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security.

A Brief History About The Armed Forces Flag Day

Soon after India achieved Independence, a need arose for the government to manage the welfare of its defence personnel. And hence, on August 28, 1949, the government formed a committee under the defence minister and had decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7.

The Armed Forces Flag Day is mainly observed to serve three basic purposes —rehabilitation of battle casualties, welfare of serving personnel and their families and also resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families

The main objective behind celebrating the Armed Forces Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations. Flag Day gains more significance as it highlights the responsibility of Indian civilians to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.

The Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) was created for the welfare and rehabilitation of the ex-servicemen (ESM) community and reportedly there are over 32 lakh ESM as each year around 60,000 defence personnel are compulsorily retired, to keep the armed forces young. They are released between 35-40 years of age and they are physically fit and young. Therefore, caring for these ex-soldiers and their families is a national responsibility.