A photograph of a young student crying inconsolably while reuniting with her grandmother at an old age home has gone viral on social media.
The caption accompanying the picture details how the girl, who was on a school trip to the old age home, found her grandmother living there. According to the posts, the girl’s parents had lied to her that her grandmother was living with their relatives, when in reality, they had left her at the home.
The emotional and unexpected reunion, which tugged at the heartstrings of netizens, soon went viral, with many lamenting the degeneration of family values and the parent-child bond.
However, a fact check into the story revealed that it was far from the truth.
The photo dates back to 2007 and was clicked by senior photojournalist Kalpesh Bharech when BBC Gujarati, on the occasion of World Photography Day, asked journalists from across the state to submit the best photographs of their careers.
In an attempt to clear the air surrounding the picture, BBC Hindi interviewed the girl in the frame named Bhakti who refuted allegations that her parents had sent her grandmother away.
“I want to say the photo has gone viral and my grandmother lives at an old age home. But she lives there by her own choice. No one has sent her here. Back then, the newspaper had published the photo. I knew that she was going away to an old age home but I didn’t know which. Since I'm emotional, seeing her there made me cry. And that's it. I still share the same bonding with my ‘dadi’ and she's as important to me as she was before."
The girl’s grandmother, Damyanti, also rubbished allegations that she was kicked out of her house. “I came here to live in peace. I go home and sometimes my family comes here to meet me,” she said.