A collage of pictures has gone viral across social media. Sambit Patra, the National Spokesperson of the BJP, tweeted the image in question. The pictures show the alleged contrast between the state of schools under the Samajwadi Party and the BJP.
The viral image aims to highlight the difference in the condition of schools when the Samajwadi Party was in power from 2012 to 2017 and when the BJP was in power from 2017 to the present. The pictures on the left side show schools in Uttar Pradesh dilapidated condition. The post has gone viral in the lead up to the Uttar Pradesh Elections to be held later this year. The elections are bound to pit the two major parties in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party and the BJP, against each other.
These CrowdTangle analyses indicate the viral extent of the post shared by Sambit Patra.
The collage of photos and the captions of the post claim that there has been a drastic difference in the condition of schools under the current ruling government of Uttar Pradesh.
The left side of the post contains a collage of three images of schools in various states of disrepair. We identified six different images in the viral post.
Following a reverse image search, we traced this image back to this Amarujala article published on January 7, 2021. The article goes into detail about the state of schools in the rural parts of Uttar Pradesh. The report indicated that out of 951 schools, the state of 111 schools was "very poor." The image has been shared in the context of these schools continuing to be in dilapidated conditions.
The caption translates to: "The dilapidated school building in Jafarpur village.- Photo: MUZAFFARNAGAR"
According to the article, the image in question is about a school in the Baghra block of Jafarpur village, in Muzaffarnagar, where the state of 23 schools is "pathetic". The article includes an interview with the headmaster of Jafarpur Primary School, where the children have to sit outside due to the dilapidated condition of the school. There is a risk of the classroom roof falling at any time, as per the article.
Upon close inspection of this image, we noticed the time stamp in the corner. The timestamp indicated that the picture was taken on August 8, 2018.
Following a reverse image search, we traced the image back to this article by UttarPradesh.org. This article contained the photo in question, which after inspecting the code of the image, was found to be a WhatsApp Image that was downloaded from the messaging service on August 8, 2018, as per the metadata.
The article describes a flooding situation in a primary school in Amanpur in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. The article elaborated on the situation, stating that the flooding of the school's premises had led to a lot of difficulties for the teachers and school children. The article indicates that the local administration seemed to have turned a blind eye to the teachers' concerns.
The Logical Indian contacted a person who shared the following recent photos of the school on the condition of anonymity. The images document the current dilapidated state of the school.
As these photos indicate, the school continues to be in a state of disrepair.
Following a reverse image search, we traced this image back to this article by NewsAddaa. The report published on December 17, 2020, talked about a school in Sukrauli, Kushi Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh, that was found locked during the inspection by Block Education Officer Vijay Kumar Gupta.
[English Translation of Title: Sukrauli: Primary School Was Found Locked Throughout the Day]
The school was found locked due to the absence of the teachers. The BEO stated that action would be taken against the absent teachers, including a warning to deduct their salaries. As per the report, several complaints about the teachers being late had been registered.
Images 4, 5 and 6 on the right side of the post:
Following a reverse image search, we came across this article by IndiaTimes. The article is about an astronomy lab in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr. The images in the viral post's collage are the same as those posted by Aryan Mishra, an amateur astronomer and a student of Ashoka University.
Mishra shared images detailing the educational activities conducted at this astronomy lab.
As per this The Print article, Aryan Mishra was 14 years old when he discovered a near-Earth asteroid in a nationwide asteroid search programme. Later on, he founded the startup Spark Astronomy in 2018. The startup sets up laboratories that provide four basic telescopes for skywatching and working models of planets. As per the article, Spark Astronomy has worked with five private schools - two in New Delhi and one each in Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.
The Logical Indian has reached out to Aryan Mishra regarding a comment on the images he shared. Mishra stated, "The development of the lab started in August 2020 and continued for 1.5 years, which was delayed due to the pandemic. The development of the lab was funded by the district administration and started off as an initiative of Spark Astronomy."
He sent the following YouTube video, which documented the development of the lab and how it is benefiting the local residents and students of Bulandshahr.
Thus, the claim of the viral post indicating that there has been a drastic difference under the current ruling government of Uttar Pradesh is misleading. In actuality, the schools included in the viral post continue to be in a state of disrepair and dilapidation. The images (1,2,3) in the viral posts don't mainly date back to before 2017, that is, during the governance of the Samajwadi Party. Instead, they can be noted in recent instances as elaborated in news reports. However, the images (4,5 and 6) are of an astronomy lab that the district administration developed during the current BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.