20th November is celebrated as Universal Children’s Day.
Greetings to all Children of the World on this very Special Day !
By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly of United Nations recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
Children's Day, Chacha Nehru, Dehradun and Philately
Children's Day is celebrated worldwide to promote the welfare of the children. On 14 December 1954, the United Nations General Assembly, through resolution 836(IX) recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. The Assembly suggested to governments that the day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. Different countries celebrate it on various dates. Universal Children's Day is celebrated on 20th November because it marks the day on which the U.N assembly adopted the the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru fondly known as 'Chacha Nehru' among kids, had a keen attachment with children and strongly advocated for their rights and well being. He was also fond of roses and said that children are like the buds in a garden. He believed that they are to be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow. Befittingly, his birthday i.e. 14th November is celebrated as Children's Day in India.
First Children's Day stamp of India issued in 1957
India Post also celebrates this special day by issuing commemorating postage stamp on 14th November. For the first time on 14th November 1957 a set of three stamps was issued on Children's Day.
Till 1970 photographs were used in these stamp design. Interestingly, since 1971, these stamps are not designed by professional artists; rather they are designed by children themselves. India Post organizes painting competition throughout the country for children at different level. The best entries selected are depicted in the children's day stamp. In the year 1964 and 1997, 'Chacha Nehru’ also featured in the children's day stamp.
In the year 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1988, 1989, 2003 and 2014, stamps were not issued on children's day but today i.e. on 14th November 2015 we are going to have a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet issued on this occasion.
Pandit Nehru had deep association with Mussoorie and Dehradun. Just before his death in New Delhi on 27th May 1964, he visited Dehradun from 23rd to 26th May. Since childhood he often used to spend his summer holidays along with his family at Mussoorie, mostly staying at Savoy Hotel. Doon valley was very close to his heart. During the freedom movement, thrice he was imprisoned at Dehradun District Jail. In Dehradun jail he stayed during 6-6-1932 to 23-8-1933, 8-5-1934 to 11-8-1934 and 17-11-1940 to 3-12-1941. During his stay at Dehradun jail he started to write his biography. His intimate relationship with the Himalayan Mountains was something which he cherished throughout his life. I have in my collection a cover which was sent by Pandit Nehru to her friend Mrs. Frances Gunther in New York dated 13th June 1941 while he was imprisoned in Dehradun District Jail. As it was during World War -2, the letter was censored at Bombay censor office. She was the wife of John Gunther, the author of ‘Inside Asia’ and greatly treasured the warm and intimate letters of Pandit Nehru. During World War II, she wrote articles and made speeches critical of British imperialism and advocating independence for India. Among other organizations, she spoke before the Washington Press Club, the Quaker Institute of International Relations, and the Post War Council in New York. Her speeches were collected in a book, Revolution in India (1944). This cover is one of my prized possessions which relates to the history of Doon Valley. Philately is absolutely fantastic, providing you a valuable tool to dig into the city’s history.
After, Independence when he became Prime Minister he never missed any opportunity to visit the valley and Mussoorie. Dehradun circuit house had been mute witness to those innumerable moments when Pandit Nehru ventured its corridor or sat in its garden.
Dehradun is bestowed with rich heritage of colonial as well as independence movement era. We need to preserve those things. Today there is an ugly generator obstructing the view and threatening the very existence of the Pandit Nehru bust and WW-I memorial right in front of Asley Hall. The authorities should re-locate that generator immediately. Similarly the Nehru ward in the Dehradun district jail need to be restored aesthetically. The heritage provides a valuable bridge to our past and we must leave no stone unturned to preserve them so that it can be passed to our future generations.
New Special Cover
Special Cover on 150 years of Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta - 29 September 2015
Date of release : 29 September 2015
The journey of the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta began in the year 1864. Under the aegis of stalwarts likeH.H.Locke, B Havel, Abanindranath Tagore and Percy Brown, it emerged within the course of a few decades as the epicentre of the Indian Art Movement. Under their guidance and able leadership many Indian artists bloomed and they started ruling the art world of India and South East Asia. In later years celebrated artists like Ganesh Pyne, Jogen Choudhuri, Ganesh Haloi, Sunil Das, Sakti Burman and Somnath Hore have succeeded in consolidating the Indian modern art movement in the world on a firm footing. Rich with its legacy of a hundred and fifty years, the Government College of Art and Craft today occupies a pride of place as a heritage institution, a temple of learning committed to the cause of art and art education.
- Suresh Rao, Bengaluru