Flag Day and it's Significance
The Defence Minister's Committee on 28th August. 1949 decided that from 1949 onwards, Flag Day will be observed on 7th December each year and donations will be collected by distributing token and car flags in return of donation. From then onwards, the Flag Day is being observed on 7th December when citizens and volunteer organisations collect donations in exchange of token flags and car flags throughout the country.
The Day is named as Armed Forces Flag Day because on this day a fund is collected by issue of special flags. The Day has now become an old and honoured annual feature of our national life.
We observe this day to enlist the public co-operation and support for three basic purposes:-(a) Rehabilitation of battle casualties,
(b) Welfare of serving personnel and their families and
(c) Resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families, in general.
A concerted effort is made on this Day to raise collections 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.
Token flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services are distributed to the public through Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards throughout the country by the Kendriya Sainik Board in return for donations.
The focal point of organisation of the Armed Forces Flag Day is the Kendriya Sainik Board, Ministry of Defence at the Centre and Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards at the State and District Level. The District Boards carry the message of the Flag Day to the remotest villages through official and non-official agencies. The extent of collection naturally depends on the initiative, planning and the effort made not only by the State Govts but also by the Sainik Welfare Deptts and other organisations.
Collections made on 7th December are pooled into funds known as Armed Forces Flag Day Fund and Amalgamated 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. 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 half a paisa per individual in the State/UT.
The three Service HQs carry out Flag Day collections through their Subordinate Formations. In addition to their collections which are used for welfare of serving personnel, each year, Kendriya Sainik Board also provides additional funds on a pro‑rata basis from the contributions received from the States.
Armed Forces Flag Day Fund
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 93, the following funds have been amalgamated into one fund named as "Armed Forces Flag Day Fund":-
(a) Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel,
(b) Flag Day Fund,
(c) St.Dunstan's (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund, and;
(d) 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. The Managing Committee has the power to control and administer the Fund and to invest the same or any part thereof as it may consider necessary with regard to the objects of the Fund. The Fund is operated jointly by the Secretary, KSB and Director General Resettlement, Ministry of Defence, on behalf of the Managing Committee of the Fund.
The corpus of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund was Rs 90.6268 crores as on 30 Sep 2000. Out of this, a sum of Rs. 3.62 crores is deposited with SIDBI towards Soft Seed Capital for SEMFEX-I and II Schemes. The annual income earned is approximately Rs. 7.96 crores. Annual budget of the Fund is framed on the basis of the income earned from the corpus and the same is approved by the managing committee of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund.
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