Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted a new initiative to address the country’s skewed sex ratio: a #SelfieWithDaughter!
In his radio program on Sunday, the 64-year-old leader appealed to parents to post their pictures with their daughters on social media.
The idea was originally floated by a village head in Haryana, a state in northern India with one of the country’s worst child-sex ratios.
Sunil Jaglan, who heads the panchayat or the council of Haryana’s Bibipur village, has been encouraging fathers to WhatsApp their selfies with their daughters.
In his radio address, the Indian Prime Minister said he was inspired by Jaglan’s efforts — more so because they were carried out in a region with a high incidence of gender imbalance.
The Indian government has in the past also launched a Save-Daughter, Teach-Daughter campaign called Beti Bachao, Beti Padao in Hindi.
Modi urged parents to add a tagline to their selfies with daughters in any language of their choice. He said he would retweet the pictures with the most inspiring taglines.
Indians’ preference for sons over daughters manifested itself in a worrisome population imbalance in the world’s second-most populous nation, according to a 2011 census report.
The statistics recorded an alarming drop in the percentage of girls among India’s preschoolers. For every 1,000 boys up to 6 years old, the report counted 914 girls, a drop from 927 a decade ago.
That’s the lowest ratio since India gained independence in 1947
It’s illegal in India to abort a child just because of its sex, but such abortions happen, often aided by illegal clinics.