In what may appear as a major achievement for India, the country bagged the Guinness Book of World Records for the maximum number of online selfies under the Central government’s ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign by uploading selfies on social media. Earlier, the Guinness Book of World Records for the maximum number of selfies was with China in 2016 with around 1 lakh selfies, and now Maharashtra’s Savitaribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has created the record of 10,42,538 selfies with soil. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis took part in the Guinness Book of World Records Certificate awarding ceremony at Mumbai University on Wednesday as a part of the ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ initiative.
While addressing the event, Deputy CM Fadnavis said that it is a proud moment for everyone, adding that the ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ initiative is all about showing respect to those who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
“It’s a proud moment for us, and SPPU has created this world record. We call this nation Mother, and this Maa is Mitti (soil), and the ‘Meri Matti Mera Desh’ campaign is all about respecting the people who have sacrificed their lives for the nation, we worship our soil,” he said. “We had 25 lakhs selfies but 10,42 538 selfies got approved and we created the world record by defeating China, so it is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Maharashtra who broke this record, we need to break more records,” the Deputy CM added.
CM Shinde also congratulated everyone who was associated with this campaign and said that the campaign showcased patriotism. “I congratulate everyone associated with this campaign. This campaign shows your patriotism too. Maharashtra has always shown direction to the nation, and we have witnessed this several times too, it’s because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that our country’s name has been taken with respect in the world,” CM Shinde said. “The campaign started as a symbol to show patriotism, and Maharashtra participated in it with full support. We have made special arrangements for trains to send these ‘Kalash of Soil’ to Delhi,” he added.
The ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ (MMMD) campaign is to pay tribute to the Army bravehearts who sacrificed their lives for the nation. As part of this initiative, sacred soil and rice were collected from households across the nation and carefully placed in Amrit Kalash containers.
‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign included the Amrit Kalash Yatra, which comprises a collection of mitti and rice grains from over 6 lakh villages in rural areas and from wards in urban areas, which is sent to block level (where the mitti of all villages in the block is mixed) and then to the state capital. The mitti from the state level was sent to the national capital, accompanied by thousands of Amrit Kalash Yatris. The finale programme was held on October 31, at Kartavya Path, Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the event to mark the culmination of the ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ campaign’s Amrit Kalash Yatra on October 31 and said the youth can collectively achieve targets for the country’s progress through synergy in their efforts.
“While we are culminating an event, on the other hand, this is the beginning of the new resolution…In the 21st century, the ‘Mera Bharat Yuva’ organization will play a big role in the development of the country. ‘Meri Maati Mera Desh’ is an example of how the youth together can achieve every target,” PM Modi said. The programme also marked the closing ceremony of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Meri Maati Mera Desh campaign comprises many activities and ceremonies conducted across the country at panchayat, village, block, urban, local body, state and national levels.
The activities included the building of Shilaphalakam (Memorial) to express heartfelt gratitude to all the bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice, ‘Panch Pran’ pledge taking by the people at Shilaphalakam, planting of saplings of indigenous species and developing ‘Amrit Vatika’ (Vasudha Vandhan) and felicitation ceremonies for honouring the freedom fighters and the families of deceased freedom fighters (Veeron ka Vandan), among others. The campaign became a massive success, with over 2.3 lakh Shilaphalakams built in 36 states and UTs, nearly 4 crore Panch Pran pledge selfies uploaded, 2 lakh plus ‘Veeron ka Vandan’ programs nationwide, more than 2.36 crore indigenous saplings have been planted and 2.63 lakh Amrit Vatikas created under the Vasudha Vandan theme across the country.