Remembering Pingali Venkayya: The unsung hero who designed the Indian National Flag

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We all know the freedom fighters who toiled hard to attain freedom for this country. Our hearts fill with proud when our Tricolour is hoisted.

But how many of us know the man, who designed our National Flag and gave us our pride? Today is the death anniversary of Pingali Venkayya, the man who painted India with the vibrant colours of Saffron, White and Green on the canvas of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, and renunciation.

Pingali Venkayya

Let us know more about the great legend.

Early life & education

Born on August 2, 1876 to to Shri Hanumantharayudu and Smt Venkataratnamma in Bhatlapenumarru near Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Venkayya joined the British Army at the age of 19.

He completed his primary education at Challapalli and attended school at the Hindu High School, Machilipatnam, after which he went to Colombo to complete his Senior Cambridge.

He also went to Lahore where he joined the Anglo-Vedic College, and learnt Japanese and Urdu and History. He met Mahatama Gandhi during Anglo- Boer war in Africa.

His quest for designing Indian National Flag

From 1916 to 1921, Venkayya did a detailed reseacrh on the national flags of 30 countries for five years, before he came up with the idea of tricolour of Saffron, White and Green for the Indian National Flag.

India achieved independence on August 15, 1947, but the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947.

Lesser known facts about Pingali Venkayya

Venkayya was popularly known by two names-- Diamond Venkayya (for his expertise in diamond mining) and Cotton Venkayya (for his keen interest in various varities of cotton research).

He was a multi-lingual, with a doctorate in Geology. He had also established an institute in Machilipatnam.

Even after his precious contribution in the freedom movement of India and despite being an educationist, Venkayya, passed away in acute poverty inside a hut in Vijayawada on July 4, 1963.

Reports claim that he was not only forgotten by the society but also by the Congress party.

Honour for Pingali Venkayya

In 2009, a postage stamp was issued to commemorate him.

In 2011, his name was proposed posthumously for Bharat Ratna.

Few years ago, his daughter started receving pension from the government.

In Jan 2016, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled Venkayya's statue at the All India Radio building in Vijayawada.

Venkayya is one of the unsung heroes who dedicated his entire life to the cause of the country's freedom. Let us pay tribute to his contribution and do not let his efforts fade away in the pages of history.

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