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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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March 17 is the birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Nationally the day is celebrated as ‘National Children’s Day’. Due to Bangabandhu’s love for children, the Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina declared March 16 as National Day in the first term (1996-2001). At first the day was not declared a general holiday but later a general holiday was declared.

Children’s Day under different names is celebrated more than once a year at the international level to establish children’s rights and create awareness. In addition, different countries of the world celebrate National Children’s Day as their own. Internationally, World Children’s Day and Child Rights Week are celebrated on the first Monday in October. November 20 is World Children’s Day, as declared by the United Nations. Besides, International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1. Besides, International Girl Child Day is celebrated all over the world on 11th October. There are a few more days like this for children. Apart from this, the countries of the world celebrate any of their important days as National Children’s Day. For example, the second Sunday in June in the United States is celebrated as Children’s Day. Children’s Day in Pakistan is July 1, April 4 Children’s Day is celebrated in China. In Britain, on the other hand, Children’s Day is celebrated on August 30, in Japan on May 5, and in West Germany on September 20. However, the purpose of celebrating Children’s Day in all countries is the same, to give a message of awareness once again about the rights of children in the country and their future.

National Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 in India. The country’s first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and children’s favorite uncle Nehru’s birthday have been celebrated on National Children’s Day since 1974.

Although Bangladesh celebrated International or World Children’s Day, it did not have National Children’s Day. After the Awami League came to power in 1996, the then cabinet declared March 17 as the National Children’s Day, the birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu. The day has been observed since 1998. This day is also declared a general holiday.

The reason for declaring March 16 as Children’s Day is known to be that Bangabandhu’s compassion for children was immense. He loved children very much. He loved to spend his birthday with the children. On that day the children would go in groups to greet him. Considering all these factors, it was decided to celebrate his birthday as National Children’s Day.’ So his birthday was declared National Children’s Day by dedicating it to children. However, after the Awami League lost state power in the 2001 elections, the then BNP government canceled Children’s Day celebrations and public holidays. As a result, the day was not observed from 2002 to 2006.

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