The man behind the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ initiative, Sunil Jaglan, says the campaign which was launched from a small village in Haryana about eight years ago to raise awareness about ills like female foeticide has gradually snowballed into a success.
Jaglan, a former Sarpanch of Bibipur village in Jind, had launched the campaign from the village in June 2015. His initiative had drawn praise from even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who even mentioned it in his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address.
Under the campaign, Jaglan urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload them on social media.
He later created a dedicated website for the initiative where people could share selfies with their daughters.
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”I am happy to state that eight years after the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign was launched, it has been a success. The campaign has also received great support from different parts of the world,” Jaglan said.
On Jind, his native district, he said it used to be among those Haryana districts where sex ratio was terribly skewed, but now things have reversed.
”I feel the campaign has had some positive impact in my own district and some other places as well and has helped bring a change in the people’s mindset towards the girl child,” he said.
Father of two minor daughters, Jaglan has been working for women empowerment and village development for the past several years with a focus on female foeticide.
Jaglan said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign from Panipat in January 2015, he felt inspired by the initiative and wanted to do something which could supplement the government’s efforts.
”I would say the ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign has had tremendous impact in Haryana and helped improve the skewed sex ratio,” he said.
Last month, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that Haryana, which was once infamous for female foeticide, is now celebrating the birth of every girl child and at present, there are 923 girls for every 1,000 boys in the state.
Jaglan, who found mention in various episodes of ‘Mann ki Baat’, said this week alone he participated in several events in Delhi organised by Prasar Bharti to celebrate the 100th edition of the PM’s monthly radio address. The 100th ‘Mann ki Baat’ will be broadcast on Sunday.
Jaglan said he also attended a national conclave, which was addressed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, on Wednesday.
The activist said he has created an online museum too where people can post selfies with their daughters.
”During the last eight years, we have received selfies from 80 countries. Many of these selfies were posted by prominent personalities from the world of cinema, sports, and politics,” he said.
About his other initiatives, he said Bibipur Panchayat had earlier launched Digital India with Laado, a campaign to replace names of family-heads on nameplates with their daughters’ name.
Jaglan said he has put a nameplate outside his house bearing the name of his elder daughter Nandini.
He also recalled how everyone in his village thought a son had been born to him when he had celebrated and distributed sweets on the birth of his first daughter.
In 2012, Jaglan had organised a ”Lado Panchayat”, a women-oriented Khap Panchayat in Bibipur village, where a number of women participated and raised their voice against female foeticide.