A noble campaign by a father-daughter duo, because every daughter is precious

  • Naina Arora, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2016 16:47 IST
Deepak Jana is a driver who lives in the Tollygunge basti in Kolkata. He drives a white Ambassador. He has a daughter Nandini who is 6 years old and goes to Class 1 in a nearby school. Deepak would like to educate Nandini so that she can have a better future.

“I never got education, so it’s very important to me that my daughters go to school,” says a post on the page, My Daughter is Precious. The page, an initiative by the father-daughter duo Rajesh Ramakrishnan, and 14-year-old Kaavya Rajesh, attempts to capture the bond between a father and daughter through pictures.

“We came across a lady on the internet who carried a Polaroid camera across slums in India so that she could click photos of the dwellers and give it to them,” shares Rajesh, speaking about the seed of the idea.

Shankar with his daughter Deepika in Besant Nagar, Chennai.

Read: Modi’s praise for ‘Selfie with Daughter’ helps, says Bibipur sarpanch

Building on that, Rajesh launched this initiative in April this year. “On one side, there is an issue of education, especially for the girl child, treating them equally and on the other, they pose for picture, but they never get to own a picture ... we brought those two together,” says Rajesh, who is now based in Dhaka and is a former Gurgaon resident.

Deepak with his daughter Rinki in Kolkata.

The father-daughter duo visit an under-privileged area every Friday or Saturday in Dhaka. The drive has so far been done in Dhaka, Kolkata and Chennai. “We click pictures of a father and daughter and we give that Polaroid picture which they can keep in their house as a reminder of the bond,” says Rajesh.

Further, on Father’s Day this year, they launched a campaign to raise money through a crowd funding platform, Bitgiving. “We want people to contribute to the project Nanhi Kali that supports education of the girl child. To educate a girl child, there is a certain amount of money required per year. Whatever money gets contributed that money would be then used to send a girl to school in the areas where they can’t afford it.The fund-raising culminates on Daughter’s Day (August 11) this year,” he adds.

Read: An India for the girl child: Modi’s Mann ki Baat echoes in Haryana village

Sharing an anecdote about the kind of people they meet, Kaavya, says, “Once we went to a colony in Chennai where I came across a father who was bringing up his four girls single-handedly. He wanted to educate the girls because he hadn’t received education in his life. The picture of the father and daughter help spread awareness thereby giving the message that daughters are precious. ”

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