On Independence Day, the Telangana government announced two new schemes, for which they published two full-page advertisements with the faces of a husband, wife and child plastered across all newspapers.
The government unveiled Kanti Velugu (which provides free eye care) and Rythu Bhima (insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for 28 lakh farmers). However, the advertisements triggered a row after many citizens noticed that the family shown in both advertisements were the same and that only the person who was the husband had changed. The woman in the photograph has alleged that they were not informed about how their photographs would be used.
The woman has now approached local media, stating that they are not farmers and do other odd jobs. She has also questioned how they could morph another man into the photo and crop out her husband without her permission.
"One day, around 5 to 10 people came with cameras and other equipment. They said that we would get loans for machines and other things. They took our signatures and then took my family's photograph. We are illiterate, so we don't know what they said," the lady said.
"The next thing we know, our posters are stuck everywhere across buses and newspapers. We didn't know whom to ask. We first we saw the photo where my husband was standing next to me, and we saw the other photo later. What will people think if they see some other man like that? It has caused me a lot of distress and it has resulted in big fights at home," she added.
Responding to the latest development, the Information and Public Relations office said that it had summoned the two ad agencies, which did the advertisements for Kanti Velugu and Rythu Bima.
"The department has sought a response from the agencies by Monday noon on whether they took consent. Action would be taken against them if they were found to be using the photo without consent," a statement said.
Under the Kanti Velugu scheme, screenings will be conducted across the state, for which 828 medical teams will be constituted. Apart from screenings, they will also provide free medicines, spectacles and arrange for free surgeries if required.
Meanwhile, the Rythu Bima scheme promises to cover 28 lakh farmers aged between 18 and 59. The government will pay the annual premium of Rs 2,271 per farmer for their insurance.