For the longest time, I thought Children’s Day and Nehru became a thing after his death. Like how “the nation” celebrated Maulana Azad’s birthday as National Education day last week, Unification Day for Sardar Patel, week or two prior to that, posthumously. Therefore, I was genuinely suprised to know, they were put together in the presence of Nehru himself as early as 1957 by President Rajendra Prasad during a gathering for children’s right.
Children’s day, instituted by the United Nations is an idea put forward by the Indian representatives as early as 1952. It is commemorated worldwide since 1959 on November 20, the day when UN adopted the Declaration for the Right of the child. However, they gave their member countries a choice of dates. The Govt of India adopted November 14. Nehru’s birthday seemed a likely choice as he was a writer for children. He had published the private letters he had written to his daughter on natural and world history for other children to read.