Armed Forces Flag Day is marked in India every year on December 7 to honour martyrs and the men in uniform who serve India. Citizens are urged to make voluntary contributions towards the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund for the welfare of personnel and ex-servicemen, their family members and also to rehabilitate those injured in wars.
The day was first observed on December 7, 1949. That year, the then government attempted to involve the common people to contribute to the welfare of the defence personnel. After the country gained Independence, there was an imminent shortage of funds for the welfare of armed forces. On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7. The committee had suggested that it would distribute flags to the citizens in exchange of them contributing to the fund for armed forces personnel.
Over the years it gained more significance as it started to be considered that the civil population of India is responsible to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight and lay down their lives for the country. The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is mainly observed to rehabilitate those wounded in wars, for the welfare of serving soldiers and their families and the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families. Also, the money collected is used for providing help to the ex-servicemen who are battling serious health issues including heart ailments, cancer, and joint replacement, etc. Contributions for the Flag Day Fund are received throughout the year from the Public.