The Prime Minister is set to inaugurate 3024 newly-built houses for the economically weaker section (EWS) in Delhi to rehabilitate people living in slums as part of a slum rehabilitation programme. Several prominent BJP leaders posted the announcement on Twitter and shared a poster on the event.

The poster has three components – 1) an image of a high-rise building; 2) an image of family and 3) a text in Hind, which translates in English to: ‘Now, a concrete house instead of a slum hut… A huge gift to the people of Delhi from the central government. 3024 newly-constructed EWS houses will be inaugurated and keys handed over to beneficiaries.’

Union home minister Amit Shah, tweeted the poster with a caption in Hindi, which roughly translated to English as ‘The Modi government does not make empty promises. It delivers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will handover keys to happiness to the slum-dwellers in Delhi. 3024 EWS flats to be handed over by Modiji in Delhi.’

The official account of BJP Delhi State also shared the same poster in a tweet, which roughly translates to English as ‘Thousands of landless slum dwellers in Delhi to receive the gift of a concrete home. Today, as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over the keys to 3024 EWS houses to beneficiaries, it will be a dream come true for them.’

Member of Parliament Hardwar Dubey, BJP Rajasthan state vice-president Chandrakanta Meghwal, former chief minister of Uttarakhand Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank replicated Amit Shah’s post in their tweets. Here are the screenshots of the tweets carrying the poster.

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Image Verification

A reverse image search using Google shows that the image used in the poster is not that of slum dwellers in Delhi but of Saroo Brierley and his family. Saroo was born in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. At the age of five, he lost contact with his family and was adopted by an Australian family. He spent the next 25 years in Hobart before the traced his birthplace using Google Maps and travelled to India, and in 2012, got reunited with his mother.

We found a report by LiveMint which was carried the image of the family seen in the poster. The photo was credited to ‘Penguin Books India’.

Brierley’s story got known world over after an Australian movie, ‘Lion‘, starring Dev Patel was made on him. Several stories on Brierley, including an autobiographical account ‘A Long Way Home’, has been written over the years [1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ].

On that fateful day in 1986, Saroo, then 5, was waiting for his brother, Guddu, at the Khandwa railway station. When he could not find him, Saroo boarded a train and reached Howrah station in West Bengal. After spending three weeks on the streets of Calcutta, he was taken to an adoption centre and finally adopted by an Australian family. In 2012, more than two decades later, using Google Maps, Saroo tracked down the same railway station, and eventually his birthplace, Khandwa. He then came to India in search of his lost family and was reunited with them. The picture in the posters was clicked after he met his biological family. In the picture, Saroo is seen with his mother Kamla, brother Kallu’s family, his sister Shekila and her son.

The picture was has also been shared by a parody account of the same name.

Twitter user Pradeep Pandey, a journalist, pointed out that the picture of Saroo and his family was improperly used in the poster.

Thus, we can say that the poster on the housing project for slum dwellers in Delhi carries a misplaced picture of Saroo Brierly and his biological family.

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