Flag Day and it’s Significance
The Flag Day is commemorated on 07 Dec every year. The Day is intended to honour the valiant and dead, to salute the veterans and brave and to enhance the traditional bonds that exist between citizens of the country and the Armed Forces.
The day is named as Armed Forces Flag Day as decided by the Defence Committee of Cabinet in Jul 1948. The day has now become and old and honoured annual feature of our national life. It is on this day that the services rendered by personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force are remembered.
We observe this day to enlist the public co-operation and support for three basis purposes – rehabilitation of families of battle casualties, welfare of serving personnel and their families and resettlement and welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their families, in general.
On this day citizens and volunteer organization collect donations in exchange of token flag and car stickers throughout the country. Token flags and car flags in red, navy blue and light blue colours representing the tree Services are distributed to the public through Rajya, Zila Sainik Boards and the National Cadet Corps throughout the country by the Kendriya Sainik Board in return for donations.
A concerted effort is made on this day to raise collection from the public. The significance of the Day is brought home to the potential donors in a variety of ways. The Flag Day messages are displayed through media to step up collections. At some places, Armed Forces Formations and Units also arrange variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programme.
Collections made on 7th December are pooled into one fund known as Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Fund and Amalgamated Special Fund at the Centre and States respectively. The Fund is operated by a Managing Committee presided over by the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri at the Centre and by the Governor/Lt Governor of States/UTs. The Committee lays down the general policy and decides about the allocation of funds for various measures connected with the welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their families. These funds are properly managed, audited and accounted for. Donations are exempt from Income Tax in the hands of the donor.
It is pertinent to mention that the Centre is given only a very small share of the Flag Day Fund collections made by each State/UT. The Centre’s share is only one paisa per individual of the population of each State/UT. This is forwarded by RSB to KSB on 01 Jan each year.
1. Kendriya Sainik Board administratively controls the Welfare Funds for the welfare and rehabilitation of Ex-Servicemen, war widows/disabled and their dependents. With the issue of Govt of India, Ministry of Defence Notification No SRO-7E dated 13 Apr 1993, the following funds have been amalgamated into one fund named as “Armed Forces Flag Day Fund” :-
1. Amalgamated Special Fund for war bereaved, wart disabled and other Ex-servicemen/serving personnel.
2. Flag Day Fund.
3. St.Dunstan’s (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund, and ;
4. Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Fund. .
The management and administration of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund rests with the Managing Committee with Hon’ble Raksha Mantri as its Chairman.