Even as India celebrates Independence Day, Pingali Venkaiah, the man who designed the tricolour, seems to have been forgotten. Pingali who died in 1963 lived in abject poverty and was never even offered a freedom fighter's pension nor was his family offered any help, after his death, despite their being in dire financial straits.
His daughter Poornima Devi, who lives in a one-room tenement in Hyderabad, says the family neither sought nor was he honoured with any pension, despite their poor financial status. Poornima Devi, Pingali Venkaiah's daughter remarked, "Just because my father was a freedom-fighter, we have never wanted to get freedom fighter's pension on his name. We never had that intention. Even now, I do not want to use his name to get anything."
Poornima Devi, who sells pickles and papads for a living, says her father was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi ever since they first met in South Africa. But he had sought neither name nor money and had died in abject poverty in 1963.
"Even now I am talking only because people are hoisting the flag in his name and going their separate ways. I hope that at least a stamp is released in his memory and children's books in all languages should have a mention of what he has done for the country. I have come forward now only so that his name is remembered again,'' asserted Poornima Devi.
According to Pingali Venkaiah daughter, his last wish was to have a flag flying aloft at the place where he breathed his last in 1963, but even that wish has not been honoured by the nation to this date.
This is sad. As for me, I only know that the National Flag was designed by Sri. Venkaiah garu. This article was published in NDTV website.