7th December every year is celebratetd as Armed Forces Flag Day throughout the country. The day is intended to honour the valiant & martyred, to salute the veterans and to renew solidarity of citizens with our brave service personnel.
The Day is named as Armed Forces Flag Day, because on this day a fund is collected by sale of special flag and stickers, The Armed Forces Flag 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- rehabilitation of battle casualities, welfare of serving personnel and their families and resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families in general.
Many brave and gallant heroes from the Army, Navy and Air-Force have laid down their lives while defending the country and they continue to do so and would also do so in the future, Many lives were also lost during the Indo-Pak Conflick 1965 and 1971, Chinese Agression 1962, Kargil War 1999 and also in subsequent counter insurgency operations. As per the available data the martyred soldiers in various operations from the day our Country gained independence in 1947 is as under :-
|(a)||1947 - 48 Jammu & Kashmir Operations||1,100|
|(b)||1962 Sino - Indian Conflict||3,250|
|(c)||Indo - Pak War 1965||3,264|
|(d)||Indo - Pak War 1971||3,843|
|(e)||Op PAWAN 1987-1990 (Sri Lanka)||1,157|
|(f)||1999 Op VIJAY (Kargil)||522|
|(g)||Anti Terrorist Operations being waged||250 per year approx|
These wars and operations have left many broken homes without a bread winner. A large number of service personnel have become disabled, imposing severe handicaps of their capacity to maintain themselves and to support their families. The Flag Day brings to the forefront, our obligation of looking after the war widows, the war disabled and the dependents of those who have sacrificed their today for our better tomorrow.
"Armistice Day" after World War I was being celebrated on 11th November of every year. It was also the "POPPY DAY" because, on this day, tokens of poppies were sold to the public and the amount so collected used for the welfare of War Veterans and their families. As this date became in appropriate after Independence, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, decided on 28 August 1949 that from 1949 onwards, the Flag Day would be observed on 7th December, each year to honour the vallant, the martyred, to salute the brave veterans and to enhance the traditional bonds that exist between citizens of the country and Armed Forces Flag Day. This Day has now become an 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. The day is used to enlist the public co-operation and support for three basic purposes.
On this day citizens and volunteer organizations collect donations in exchange token flags and car stickers throughout the country. Concerted efforts are 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 message from H.E. the Governor of Andhra Pradesh will have displayed through media to step up collections. We get the major chunk of donations / contributions from Non Gazetted Officers of Andhra Pradesh and from Gazetted Officers of A.P, citizens from their salary for the month of December of the every year.
The money so collected on the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day is in a fund known as Special Fund for Rehabilitation & Reconstruction of Ex-servicemen, The interest so accrued from the fixed deposits is utilized for carrying out welfare activities to the Ex-servicemen, war widows, widows & dependents of Ex-servicemen of Andhra Pradesh. The corpus and utilization of interest is controlled by State Managing Committeee (SMC) constituted by the Governmet of Andhra Pradesh which meets once in six month time to review the functioning of Special Fund. Policy directions on utilization of money are laid down by the SMC. H.E the Governor is the ex-officio the Chairman and Chief Secretary to the Government is the ex-officio Vice-Chairman. The Director Sainik Welfare, Vijayawada is ex-officio the Secretary of SMC. A number of Senior Officers of the Government and senior retired defence personnel are the members of the committee. The Secretary carries out day to day functioning of Special Fund and distributes various welfare grants to the beneficiaries. The fund is audited by Accountant General, Vijayawada and also by a chartered accountant to ensure the moneys are utilized for the purpose meant for.