By Deepak Narendra Ji Modi
Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world, to honor children globally. Universal Children’s Day takes place annually on November 20. In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on 14 November, the birthday of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru born in 1889.
Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly called Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru) by the kids, emphasized the importance of giving love and affection to children, whom he saw as the bright future of India. This day is known as Baal Divas in Hindi.
Many functions are organized in schools, offices and other organizations. All over the country, various cultural and social institutions conduct competitions for children. Children’s Day is seen as a day for the kids to engage in fun. Children take part in many sports organized for them.
India Post also celebrates Children’s Day by releasing special postage stamp every year on 14th November. Stamps issued on this occasion are the only stamps which are not designed by professional stamp designers of India Post.
India Post or Bhartiya Dak Vibhag as it is known as in Hindi holds drawing competition on all India level and the selected best entries gets its place as design of the commemorative postage stamp, first day cover and various other such items which are issued on 14th of November by the name of that particular school student.
It was in the year 1957 when India Post issued a set of three stamps for the first time on 14th November. First of the stamp was depicting a boy eating a Banana. The price of the stamp was 8 Paisa. The stamp was created from a candid photograph of a 8 year boy Shekhar Borker. The photograph was selected from 10000 entries. Shekhar became famous as ‘Banana Boy’ after the stamp was issued. Until 1966, the Children’s Day stamps were created using a photograph. in 1971, instead of using a photograph, India Post started to use drawings and paintings by children, selected from all over India.
Until 1971 the stamps were printed in single color. From 1973, India Post started to issue multicolor stamps.
Themes of Childrens Day Stamps
1958: Nurse exercising Polio affected child
1959: Boys awaiting admission to children home.
1960: Equal importance to study & recreation
1962:Passing The Flag to Youth
1964:Obverse of 1r coin of Jawaharlal Nehru
1966: Infant & Dove Emblem
1971:Women at Work
1973:Children at Play
1976: Loyal Mongoose
1977:Cats and Friends
1982:Mother and Child
1983:Women and Child at Festival
1985: School Girl using Computer
1986: Girl Rock Climber
1990:Doll and Cat
1991: Happy Children in Colorful Dress
1993: I’CYP mascot Gajju & Children
1994: Me & My Pals
1995: Children in circle
1997: Chaha Nehru with Child
1998: Empowered Girl Empowered Society
1999: Let us Live Tomorrow
2000: My Best Friend
2001: Role of I.T. in bringing theworld Together
2005: Vijaya Dashmi Procession
2006:My Mythological Hero – Krishna & Karna
2007: The Magic of The Night
2008:India of My Dream and Communal Harmony
2009:Save Tiger Campaign and Preserve Wild Life
2010: Dolls – Kite – Pin wheels – Puppets
2012:Future Post Office
Design a Stamp Competition:India Post Organizes ‘Design a Stamp Competition’ for School children. The competition is organized on national level and hundreds of thousands of school children from every corner of India take part in it. A theme is given and the competitors and they have to design it in ink, water color or oil paint. Winning design is selected to depict on Children’s Day stamp. The competition is open for the student of Standard IV to Standard XII, and is divided in 3 groups. The winning entries from each group gets its place on Children’s day stamp, First Day Cover, Miniature sheet and various such other collectables by released by India Post every year on 14th November.
Many stamp collectors like to specialize themselves in a specific theme. Gandhi stamps are one of the most popular themes in the collectors of stamps. Now Children’s day stamps also have become a popular theme amongst the collectors. It is notable thing that India post has issued a large number of stamps on both the themes.
Stamps on this theme are displayed in most of the philatelic exhibitions in India.
I myself started collecting stamps in my school days and still its going on.
References: Articles in various news papers, internet and from personal collection.