Today is Children’s Day. World still has six more days to go. It is Universal Children’s Day on November 20. But we chose November 14, the day that marks the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Independent India’s first Prime Minister, in recognition of his lifelong passion and work for children.
A day to celebrate childhood, Universal Children’s Day was instituted world over with the sole aim to encourage countries to promote communal exchange and understanding among children, and also to bring about beneficiary action to promote the welfare of the world’s children.
It was in October, 1953 that world celebrated its first Children’s Day under the sponsorship of International Union for Child Welfare, Geneva.
Later, November 20 was chosen as Universal Children’s Day. It was first proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1954, and established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children.
The reason: United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and November 20 is the anniversary of that day. Also it was on November 20, 1989 that the Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed.
Interestingly, the idea of Universal Children’s Day was mooted by late Shri VK Krishna Menon (who led the Indian delegation to the UN)and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.
But the point to be noted is, every country has a Children’s Day like in India. For example in Argentina, Día del Niño (or Children’s Day) is celebrated on the second Sunday of August.