Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day observed on 31st October every year in India of commemorates the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This year in 2019, it is celebrated as the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He is also famous as an Iron Man of India and one of the founding leaders of the Republic of India.
- The Government of India first in 2014, introduced Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day with an aim to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary. He is always remembered for his extraordinary works for the country and he worked hard in keeping India united.
- Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, by paying tribute to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue (182 meters) and flagging of a program which was known as ‘Run For Unity’ in New Delhi. Run for unity was held to spread awareness about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s contribution to Indian history.
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National Unity Award /Sardar Patel National Unity Award
- Sardar Patel National Unity Award or National Unity Award has been constituted by the Home Ministry of India to recognize “exemplary and outstanding individual contribution and tireless and selfless work done by citizens to promote the cause of national unity and integrity to strengthen the fabric of the country as one nation”.
- Any citizen of India without distinction of religion, race, caste, gender, place of birth, age or occupation, and any institution/organization shall be eligible for the Award.
- The candidate for the Award should have made outstanding efforts and notable contribution to promote and further the cause of national unity and integrity in a manner that may serve as an inspiration to others and reinforce the value of a strong and united India.
- The Union government has instituted the highest civilian award for contribution to India’s unity and integrity in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- The award, comprising a medal and a citation.
- This award would not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases.
- No monetary grant or cash reward would be given in this award
- There are not more than three awards would be given in a year.
- The award would be announced on the occasion of National Unity Day the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on October 31 on the Home Ministry Portal nationalunityawards.mha.gov.in
Facts about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel also popularly known as the Iron Man of India
- He fought for Independence. He has diplomatic skills.
- The full name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel.
- He was born on 31 October 1875 at Nadiad, Gujarat, India and died on 15 December 1950 at Bombay.
- After Indian independence, he was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
- He served the first three years as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Information and Minister of States.
- He attended primary school at Karamasad and high school at Petlad.
- He married at the age of 16, matriculated at 22 and passed district pleader’s examination due to which he was able to practice law.
- In Godhra, he set up an independent office of district pleader in 1900.
- In August 1910, he went to London for further studies.
- In 1913, he returned to India and settled in Ahmadabad and became a barrister in criminal law at the Ahmadabad bar.
- On Gandhi’s call, Patel quit his job and joined the movement to fight for exemption of taxes in Kheda at the time of famine.
- He served as the first Indian municipal commissioner of Ahmadabad from 1917 to 1924 and was elected as a municipal president from 1924 to 1928.
- In 1918 he made his first mark by a mass campaign of peasants, farmers, and landowners of Kaira, Gujarat, against the decision of the Bombay government. Despite crop failures due to heavy rains, the government wanted to collect full annual taxes.
- In 1928, he successfully led the Bardoli campaign and earned the title Sardar that is “leader”.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the second candidate after Mahatma Gandhi to the presidency of the 1929 Lahore session of the Indian National Congress.
- In 1931, he presided the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress.
- He was the first chairman and founder of the Edward Memorial High School Borsad (E.M.H.S) now, it is known as Jhaverbhai Dajibhai Patel High School.
- He always worked hard to make India a United India (Ek Bharat). To create Shreshth Bharat or Foremost India, he requested the people of India to live together.
- Patel played an important role in the integration of many Indian princely states to make an Indian federation.
- He was India’s first Deputy Prime Minister who studied law with borrowed books
- Sardar Patel also was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress (INC).
- Patel joined Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement and traveled around West India to recruit 3,00,000 members.
- He worked against alcohol consumption, untouchability, caste discrimination and for women emancipation in Gujarat and outside.