navratri: FACT CHECK: Akhilesh’s photo wearing shoes while distributing food is not linked to Navratri

A photo of former Uttar Pradesh (UP) CM Akhilesh Yadav is being circulated with the claim that he disrespected Hindu customs by wearing shoes while distributing food to girls during Navratri festival.

In the photo, Yadav can be seen wearing a black footwear as he distributes food to young women and children.

The photo is from July 15, 2016 when the then CM Yadav launched ‘Hausala Poshan Scheme’ from Shravasti district under state nutrition mission. It was not during the Navratri festival.
However, in the photo, Yadav’s footwear is very close to the food kept on the floor. And he was rebuked by netizens for that.
Using reverse-image search, we found that the photo was carried on several news portals.
News website E-dristi published the photo on July 20, 2016 under the headline ‘Hausala Poshan Scheme’. It was a scheme for providing nutritious food to pregnant women and malnourished children.

Times of India reported about the scheme in detail on July 18, 2016 and August 25, 2016.

The same photo was also tweeted by Yadav’s official handle on July 15, 2016.

The text accompanying the tweet reads ‘Launched Hausala Nutrition Scheme, which will provide hot nutritious meals to pregnant women & malnourished children’.
However, Yadav courted controversy back then for not removing footwear while serving food and standing very close to the food on the floor.
Hindi news portal One India reported about it on July 16, 2021.
Times Fact Check has found that a 2016 photo of Akhilesh Yadav has resurfaced with the false claim that the former UP CM wore shoes while distributing food during the recent Navratri festival.

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