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BJP Shares Old, Unrelated Photo To Show Beneficiary of Housing Scheme in Delhi

The photo shows an Indian-Australian man, Saroo Brierley, who went missing in 1987.

3 min read
BJP Shares Old, Unrelated Photo To Show Beneficiary of Housing Scheme in Delhi
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A graphic about Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating 3,024 new flats in Delhi's Kalkaji is being shared on social media. It shows a photograph of Modi, the project, and a family.

Who shared it?: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi's verified Twitter account shared the graphic, talking about the prime minister's event in Delhi where he would inaugurate the housing scheme and hand over keys to the residents.

An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

(The archived versions of more such posts can be seen here, here, and here.)

So, what's wrong?: The family's photograph in the graphic is not from Delhi, neither is it a recent photo showing a beneficiary of the scheme.

Then where is it from?: The photograph shows author Saroo Brierley, an Indian-Australian man who went missing from Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh at age five in 1987. He reunited with them after 25 years in 2012.


How did we find out?: We cropped the image to isolate the family's photograph and ran a reverse image search on it. The results led us to an article by DNA, dated 21 November 2013, which carried a partial photograph similar to the one in the claim.

The article was updated in 2013.

(Source:DNA/Altered by The Quint)

What does the report say?: It mentioned that a man named Saroo Brierley reunited with his family using Google Earth.

  • It said that Brierley had gone missing after he fell asleep in a train in his town, while waiting for his brother, and landed up in Howrah, West Bengal.

  • Since he remembered a few details about his area, and that he had travelled from a train station sounding like 'Berampur,' Brierley had tried to trace back train lines from Howrah to know where he might have come from.

  • Taking a cue from this, we looked for more information on Brierley and found a Hindustan Times article which carried the same photo.

  • The article mentioned that Brierley was declared a lost child in 1987.

What is Brierley's story?: After the police in Howrah was unable to locate his village, Brierley was put up for adoption and was adopted by an Australian couple.

  • Throughout his adulthood, he kept attempting to trace his family using Google Earth, and a few memories he had from his childhood.

  • He spoke to people on a Facebook group, after which was able to narrow down his hometown to Khandwa, specifically to an area called Ganesh Talai.

  • In 2012, he travelled to his village in Madhya Pradesh, and was eventually reunited with his mother and brother.

  • He shared the photograph from the claim to his Instagram account in January 2020.


Brierley went on to write about his life and his experience in a book, titled 'A Long Way Back,' which was later adapted into the Oscar-nominated biographical drama film, 'Lion' (2016).

The Quint has reached out to Brierley for his inputs, and will update the article as and when it is received.

Conclusion: A graphic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating a EWS housing scheme in Delhi used an old and unrelated photograph of Saroo Brierley, an Indian-Australian man who went missing from Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa in 1987.

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