An image of a child showing a big pile of plastic pollution behind the Taj Mahal is viral on social media platforms claiming that a foreign tourist is showing the reality of Uttar Pradesh. The child in the image holds a placard which reads: “Behind the beauty of Tajmahal is plastic pollution.”
However, we have found that the claim is false. The girl in the image is Licypriya Kangujam, an environmental activist from Manipur.
Targetting the Yogi government, the social media coordinator of the Samajwadi Party, Manish Jagan Agarwal, posted the image on Twitter with the Hindi caption: “विदेशी पर्यटक भी भाजपा शासित योगी सरकार को आईना दिखाने को मजबूर हैं , भाजपा की सरकार में यमुना जी गंदगी से भरी पड़ी हैं ,ताजमहल को खूबसूरती पर ये गंदगी एक बदनुमा दाग है , विदेशी पर्यटक द्वारा सरकार को आईना दिखाना बेहद शर्मनाक है ,भारत और यूपी की ये छवि भाजपा सरकार ने बनाई है.”
(English Translation: Foreign tourist is showing the mirror to BJP ruled Yogi government. Yamuna Ji is full of filth under the BJP government; this filth is a stain on the beauty of the Taj Mahal. It is very shameful that foreign tourist is showing reality to the government. This image of India and UP is a creation of the BJP government.)
Agarwal’s post was also retweeted by former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and has received high engagement.
On conducting a reverse image search, we found that the viral image was first posted from the Twitter handle of Licypriya Kangujam on 21 June 2022. In the tweet, while showing the plastic pollution behind the Taj Mahal, she called out visitors for throwing polythene bags and plastic bags.
According to her Twitter bio, Kangujam is a 10-year-old Indian Child Environmentalist, Climate Activist and founder of The Child Movement (School of Nature & Humanities). From the information available on the Kanujam website, the child activist is from Manipur and has been championing her cause since the age of six.
On 23 June, Kangujam called out the fake claim of the Samajwadi Party leader in a quote Tweet. She clarified, “I am a proud Indian. I am not a foreigner.”
I'm a proud Indian. I'm not a foreigner. 🙏 https://t.co/KBshDFJzQM
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) June 22, 2022
After being called out, Agrawal has pinned the blame for the misinformation on the Abp network.
— Manish Jagan Agrawal (मनीष जगन अग्रवाल) (@manishjagan) June 23, 2022
Therefore, it is evident from the findings that the girl who shared the pollution image from behind the Taj Mahal is not a foreign tourist.