Respectful disposal of national flags a collective responsibility: Delhi's resident welfare associations

The President of the East Delhi RWAs Joint Front emphasized that individuals should respect the tricolour by not discarding it carelessly.
Image for representational purpose only. (File | EPS)
Image for representational purpose only. (File | EPS)

India celebrated its 77th Independence Day in a spectacular display of patriotism. Amidst the celebrations, however, concerns were raised by the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) regarding the improper disposal of discarded flags.

The Union government renewed the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, urging Indians to hoist the national flag at their homes.

Speaking on this matter, B.S. Vohra, the President of the East Delhi RWAs Joint Front, emphasized that individuals should proudly fly the Tricolor at their homes while respecting the symbol by not discarding it carelessly.

“Last year, while I was riding my scooter through the area, I came across paper flags lying on the road with vehicles passing over it. This disheartened me deeply. People should be more conscious of their responsibilities,” Vohra recalled.

Vohra stated that as a member of the RWA, their role is to inform the citizens, but the actual responsibility for respectfully disposing of national flags lies with the government authorities.

The Flag Code of India, 2002, clearly states that when flag is damaged or soiled, it shall be destroyed in private, preferably by burning or by any other method which is consistent with dignity of the flag. 

Furthermore, the RWAs have also taken on the responsibility of raising awareness among the masses through social media platforms.

“In our WhatsApp groups, we have shared information emphasizing that everyone must show proper respect for the Tricolor and adhere to the Flag Code of India when disposing of the flag,” Vohra mentioned.

Vohra added that fortunately, there have been no reported incidents of indecent disposal of flags in his area this year. However, people still continue to hoist flags on their terraces, in violation of the Flag Code of India.

“It is stipulated that the Indian flag should only be flown from sunrise to sunset. Despite this, it is evident that this guideline is not being followed,” Vohra remarked.

He also mentioned that the Municipal Corporation designated several locations last year where individuals could submit damaged or soiled flags; however, no information regarding such actions has come to light this year.

President of East Delhi RWAs Joint front, BS VOHRA, elaborates on how communities have ensured the hoisting of the Tricolor on the occasion of Independence Day and its respectful disposal, all in keeping with the Flag Code of India. Excerpts from an interview: 

Q. How do RWAs ensure that no flag is improperly disposed after the “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign?
Though this responsibility rests with government authorities, we as vigilant citizens, & active RWA members, try to aware the residents through WhatsApp groups regarding proper disposal of flags. Additionally, we conduct regular rounds in our area to ensure that no flags are left lying around.

 Q. What are the common errors that people make on such occasions?
The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign is a commendable initiative aimed at inspiring people. However, there are individuals who remain unaware of the proper disposal methods for these flags. It is disheartening to witness flags strewn along roadsides. Thankfully, this year, no such instances happened.

Q. How can the government address these problems?
The greater responsibility lies with government authorities. The previous year, the MCD had designated several locations, including petrol pumps and others, for submitting damaged flags. However, we have not noticed any such initiatives taking place this year. 

Q. In addition to flags disposal, what other issues did the RWA encounter?
According to the flag code, the Tricolor should be flown from sunrise to sunset. This practice is also followed from the Wagah-Attari border to the Red Fort. However, it’s noticeable that people are still seen furling flags on their terraces, which in my opinion may be a clear violation of the Flag code. The government should address this issue.

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