RAIPUR: An online campaign, #Rakhiwithkhaki, in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, about 125 km east of Raipur, saw thousands of women post and upload selfies with the police on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.
As many as 50,033 selfies were uploaded in 10 hours on August 26, surpassing the previous record held by South Korean tech giant Samsung that logged 13,698 selfies in 12 hours at Johannesburg, South Africa. Now, the Bilaspur Police has approached the Guinness Records and the Limca Records for stamp of approval on the record. “The occasion has gone beyond its symbolism... Our objective was never intended for any record, but to inculcate the perception of better, safer and happier place to live for women. The idea was to reach out to the womenfolk and reassure them that the force always stands with them,” Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Arif Sheikh told The Sunday Express.
With an imbibed message that the police were with their sisters, the selfies underscored the large message of reposing faith on the police and of conveying a deterrent to criminals and anti-social elements that women’s safety remains high on the police agenda.
“For the first time I wished protection of our police brothers deployed away from home to be safe from all adversaries,” said Kusum Lata, who works as executive in a bank.
The campaign was monitored from a control room specifically created for the purpose. Two independent observers carried out the video recording. The WhatsApp number of the ‘Raksha’ team (women safety team) was monitored to enumerate the number of selfies taken.
Police, colleges, schools and voluntary organisations actively participated in the online campaign. Selfie points were set up in urban areas whereas Samvedna centres remained the focal point in rural areas
“Such impressive show on Raksha Bandhan empowers the women who will gain more confidence on the police as their protector,” Chief Minister Raman Singh affirmed.
The Bilaspur Police credited students, media, multiplex cinema, FM channels with the overwhelming response to the campaign. “It’s very rare when the local community engages in the campaign aimed to strengthen mutual bond with the police,” said social activist Shyamlal Grover.