The Tricolour now appears on the emoticons list of WhatsApp messenger, owing to the efforts of a 25-year-old Kandivali resident. Nikhil Vyas, chairperson of Youth for Change, an NGO, had complained to officials of the firm about the absence of the Indian national flag on their list of emoticons and characters.
“WhatsApp is very popular in our country. It is sad that we did not have the national flag earlier on the list of the emoticons. I sent the firm an e-mail and was told that I needed to contact the California based-Emoji company, which was in charge of emoticons and characters on the list of WhatsApp messenger,” said Vyas.
The company reverted with a reference number, which he could forward to Unicode Consortium, that has created the characters and emoticon.
“The email said that I can contact Unicode Consortium and request them to include the Indian flag on the list,” he added.
After Vyas sent the request on July 18 last year, Unicode Consortium contacted him, asking him to resend the request in the format they had set along with the specifics and pictures of the character he wanted to be introduced.
“I wrote back to Unicode Consortium, telling them that the character I wanted was the Indian flag and its picture was available easily,” said Vyas.
In December, the flag finally showed on the list of the emoticons.
“I sent a thank you email after seeing the flag. I feel very proud that the emoticon of our tricolour has been included with the flags of other countries on WhatsApp,” he said.