Though it is a fact universally acknowledged today, Children’s Day in India wasn’t always celebrated on November 14.
In fact, the concept of a Children’s Day was proposed by statesman and diplomat, V K Krishna Menon. He introduced the idea of a Universal Children's Day to the UN General Assembly and upon their acceptance, this day was celebrated in October until 1959.
Once the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly was adopted, the anniversary on November 20 was selected as the new day. Many countries continue to celebrate Children's Day on this day.
In India however, after Jawaharlal Nehru's death in 1964, the country decided to celebrate Children's Day or Baal Divas on November 14, the birth anniversary of the great leader. Jawaharlal Nehru dedicated a large portion of his life to the welfare of children across the nation and was fondly referred to as Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru). Nehru believed that children are the future of a nation and they need the utmost care. Concerned about the progress of the Indian youth, Nehru focused on creating responsible citizens out of young boys and girls.
In his honour, India celebrates Children’s Day as a day to renew commitments towards the welfare of the children and to teach them to live by Chacha Nehru’s ideals; for adults it provides an occasion to imbibe the qualities of childhood.
As we celebrate Children’s Day and promulgate the values of discipline, a sense of order, cleanliness and good deeds, we invite you to visit ITC Gardenia on November 13 for a special brunch with the kids or if you’re in Mumbai, head to ITC Maratha on November 14 to celebrate this special day with the children.
As Nehru once said to the children visiting, “Can you recognise the flowers by their names and the birds by their singing? How easy it is to make friends with them and with everything in nature, if you go to them affectionately and with friendship. You must have read many fairy tales and stories of long ago. But the world itself is the greatest fairy tale and story of adventure that was ever written.”