Activist behind 'Selfie with Daughter' campaign calls it success, thanks PM Modi

Sunil Jaglan, the man behind the 'Selfie with Daughter' initiative, at his village, in Jind district. Photo: PTI

Chandigarh: Sunil Jaglan, the man behind the 'Selfie with Daughter' initiative, says the campaign 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. A former sarpanch of Bibipur village in Jind, Jaglan launched the campaign in June 2015.

His initiative had drawn praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who mentioned it in his monthly "Mann ki Baat" radio broadcast. On the 100th episode of the broadcast on Sunday, Modi again praised Jaglan's initiative, saying it has turned into a global campaign.

He added that the campaign's objective was neither a selfie nor technology but the importance given to the daughter. "This campaign also sheds light on how big a daughter's place is in a person's life," Modi said.

"...It is the result of many such efforts that today there has been improvement in the gender ratio in Haryana," he added.

Speaking with some of those who have found mention in previous editions of "Mann ki Baat", Modi also praised the efforts of Pradeep Sangwan, another Haryana resident who has been on a mission to clear the Himalayas of the waste left behind by tourists and established the Healing Himalayas Foundation for the purpose more than six years ago. Jaglan told PTI that the prime minister mentioning his campaign during his past radio broadcasts gave impetus to the initiative.

Through the 'Selfie with Daughter' campaign, Jaglan urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload those on social media. He later created a dedicated website for the initiative where people could share selfies with their daughters.

"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 told PTI.

Modi, during the 100th episode of his "Mann ki Baat" radio broadcast on Sunday, said, "Sunil Jaglan had such an impact on my mind as there used to be a lot of discussion on gender ratio in Haryana." Modi reminded the audience that he had started the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign from Haryana in 2015.

"Meanwhile, when I got to know about Sunil ji's 'Selfie with Daughter' campaign, I liked it very much. I also learned from him and included it in 'Mann ki Baat'," said Modi. He added everyone remembers the 'Selfie with Daughter' and asked Jaglan how he was feeling now that it was being discussed again.

"Prime minister, sir, actually the fourth battle of Panipat ('Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao') that you started from our state of Haryana to bring smiles on the faces of daughters that the whole country tried to win under your leadership, it is really a big thing for me and for the father of every daughter and for all those who love daughters," said Jaglan.

Jaglan's two daughters - Nandini and Yachika - are students of classes 7 and 4. He mentioned that he has put a nameplate outside his home bearing the name of Nandini, his elder daughter. Speaking to PTI, Jaglan said in Jind, his native district, which he said used to be among those Haryana districts where the sex ratio was terribly skewed, things have now 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. Jaglan has been working for women empowerment and village development for the past several years with a focus on female foeticide.

Jaglan said after Modi launched the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign, he felt inspired and wanted to do something to 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 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 said he has created an online museum for people to 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. 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 prime minister's monthly radio address. Jaglan said he also attended a national conclave, which was addressed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, on Wednesday. 

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