Major faux pas in govt ad on girl child

NEW DELHI: Even as senior Indian army and air force officers fumed over the bloomer, the Prime Minister’s office issued an apology for the inclusion of the photograph of a former Pakistani air force chief in an advertisement against female infanticide in India.

Women’s and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath, whose Ministry issued the advertisement photograph placed in newspapers by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, said the persons found guilty of this lapse would be punished.
The statement from the PMO tersely said: "The Prime Minister‘s office has noted with regret the inclusion of a foreign national‘s photograph in a government of India advertisement. While an internal enquiry has been instituted, the PMO apologises to the public for this lapse."

It is learnt that the designing of the controversial advertisement was outsourced to a creative agency attached to a leading media house, but was cleared by the Ministry.
A source said most advertisements of this kind are approved at the level of joint secretary or higher, thus implying the Ministry herself may have approved it.

The full-page advertisement published in a national daily on the occasion of National Girl Child Day carried a photograph of former Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Ahmed (2006-2009) along with photos of Kapil Dev, Virender Sehwag and Amjad Ali Khan. The full-page ad also has the pictures of the United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the Minister Krishna Tirath.
DAVP sources said the advertisement had been received on a Saturday (holiday) for immediate dissemination, and so it had been passed on without any verification.

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