Born on 2nd August 1876 in a small village near Machilipatnam,”Pingali Venkayya” was the Telugu freedom fighter who designed the Indian Flag was also a member of The “Indian National Congress”. He joined the British army at a very young age of 19. He pursued his primary education in Challapalli and Machilipatnam and later went to Colombo for senior studies. He is a pro at many languages and is particularly fond of Urdu. After meeting “Mahatma Gandhi” during the “Anglo Boer war”, he was drawn towards our freedom movement.
He came up with the design of our tri coloured flag after extensively researching on the flags of 20 different countries for more than 5 years. The Tri colours in our flag depict sacrifice, peace and harmony. After India achieved Independence on 15th August 1947, his flag design was approved with a few changes suggested by Mahatma Gandhi and the addition of Dharma Chakra by “Lala Hansraj”. A white stripe was also added after taking Mahatma Gandhi’s suggestion.
A multi talented person and a man with great vision, Shri. Pingali Venkayya is also known as “Diamond Venkayya” and “Cotton Venkayya” because of his expertise in Diamond mining and his keen interest in Cotton research. He is proficient in Japanese language and also has a doctorate in Geology. He later established an institute in Machilipatnam. A postage stamp was issued in 2009 in the remembrance of his contribution to the country. His name was also proposed for Bharata Ratna in the year 2011. But the irony is that there is no memoir of him left in his home town Machilipatnam.
The true follower of Gandhi lived in poverty till the very end and breathed his last on 4th of July, 1963 in a small hut in Vijayawada. He is the unsung hero of our country who painted the national flag with utmost dedication. It is because of this man that our hearts are filled with pride every time our flag is hoisted.
Image Source: Google.
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