Blooper by R'than PR

Govt ad carries picture of missing Pak girl

The Rajasthan government, which has launched a publicity blitz on its flagship programmes before elections, faces embarrassment due to a faux pas by its public relations department.

An advertisement by the government on its ‘daughters are priceless’ campaign allegedly uses the picture of a Pakistani girl.

The girl’s picture was carried in newspapers after a Hindu girl in Pakistan was kidnapped.

Now the same picture has been printed on government posters and on the cover page of its publication ‘Sujas’.

On Thursday, Rajasthan government launched a probe into media reports making this claim.

“The women empowerment department is checking its records and trying to trace the origin of the girl’s picture, whether it is from internet or any other source,” said Rekha Gupta, director of the department.

‘Sujas’ magazine editor-in-chief and director of information and public relations (DIPR) Loknath Soni said, “DIPR received picture of the girl from women and child development and published it in ‘Sujas’ May 2013 issue.”DIPR was also tracing picture’s origin through various departments, he said.  

A vernacular daily had reported that  picture on the government hoardings and the magazine was that of a ‘missing or abducted girl’ from Pakistan.

The daily claimed that the girl went missing from Pakistan three years ago.
Last year, there was a similar episode. An advertisement by the state public relations department released on March 31, Rajasthan Day, on welfare of  minorities, carried pictures of  burqa-clad Muslim girls using computers – at a madarsa in Uttar Pradesh instead of Rajasthan. 

The matter was noticed only when a website questioned the authenticity of the pictures.
An inquiry by the government found that the advertisement agency had picked up the photo from a website leading to the faux pas. Following the enquiry, the agency was blacklisted by the public relations department.

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