Children’s Day is celebrated across India to raise awareness about the rights, education, and welfare of children. It is celebrated on 14 November every year on the birthday of the First Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was known to have been fond of children. On this day, many educational and motivational programs for children are held all over India.

Jawaharlal Nehru was affectionately called Chacha Nehru (“Uncle Nehru”) by children, and their faith in him was a constant source of happiness for him. As the Prime Minister, Nehru wanted to “create an atmosphere in the country where the attention is constantly focused on children and their welfare”. He had also established Children’s Film Society India in 1955 so that Indian children could see themselves represented.

Nehru’s concern for children and their welfare, M. O. Mathai wrote in his book My Days With Nehru (1979), “Nehru saw in their innocent faces and sparkling eyes the future of India. He was convinced that no amount of money spent on children and their mothers was too much, and that it was a sound investment for the future.”

When asked by Ram Narayan Chaudhary in an interview in 1958, if he was fond of children because the future of the country depended on the children, Nehru had replied, “I have always felt that the children of today will make the India of tomorrow, and, the way we bring them up will determine the future of the country.”

This philosophy is expressed in the letters written by him to Indira Gandhi, his daughter, when she was a young girl. The letters were also published as books. Letters from a Father to His Daughter (1929) and Glimpses of World History (1934) have gained fame as childrenโ€™s non-fiction because, as Deepa Agarwal writes, “any child can respond to their warm, affectionate tone and his lucid and spontaneous style. The wealth of information woven into them and his unique approach to historical facts is an added bonus… communicating humanist values”.


Published by Debasis

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