Old images shared as RSS workers providing relief during Cyclone Fani in Odisha

Multiple images of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh karyakartas are being circulated on social media with the claim that the photographs represent recent relief work carried out by the RSS in cyclone-hit Odisha.

Images 1 and 2

Shri Niwas, the National Joint Organising Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing ABVP, tweeted two images that show RSS workers lifting uprooted trees. “तटीय क्षेत्र में फेनी तूफान की तबाही के बाद मदद के लिये निकले @RSSorg के स्वयंसेवक देश मे कहीं भी आपदा आई हो और संघ का स्वयंसेवक घर बैठा रहे ऐसा कदापि असंभव है….देश के पूर्वी तटीय क्षेत्रों पर फेनी चक्रवात तूफान के उपरांत राहत कार्यों संलग्न संघ के स्वयंसेवक (After devastation in the coastal state due to Cyclone Fani, RSS workers offer help. It is impossible that disaster strikes the country and swayamsevaks are sitting at home. RSS swayamsevaks providing relief after Cyclone Fani strikes eastern coastal regions),” is the caption he used to share the images.

Fact-check

The image on top was traced back to 2017 using Google reverse-image search. The website of Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Tamilnadu had described the image as RSS workers providing aid during the 2017 Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari.

The image on the bottom was traced back to 2014 using reverse-image search on Yandex. Vishwa Samvad Kendra’s pan-India website carried the photograph in an October 2014 article, according to which it pertains to RSS relief work in Vishakhapatnam during Cyclone Hudhud.

Images 3, 4 and 5

A set of three images have been shared by several individuals and pages, including the Twitter handle of Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Assam. A user who described himself as an RSS pracharak also shared the photographs.

Fact-check

Reverse-searching individual images led Alt News to a 2018 tweet that carried all the three photographs. According to the tweet, the images depict RSS relief work during the 2018 Cyclone Titli.

We found identical images on websites tnews.co.th and organiser.org. Both websites claimed that the images were shot during devastation in Andhra Pradesh last year.

The photographs fact-checked in this article are also circulating on WhatsApp.

However, none of them depicts RSS providing aid during Cyclone Fani in Odisha.

Old images of RSS relief work are often circulated on social media as a recent event. A similar pattern was observed last year during Kerala floods.

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