A photograph of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers carrying sacks on their backs is circulating online. It is being claimed that they are carrying out relief work after the Uttarakhand glacier break. Facebook page ‘Rss’ shared the picture and wrote, “RSS men have doing relief work for three days so that no one dies of hunger or disease”. The post drew 1200 shares as of this writing (Archive link).
चमोली… तपोवन !! लगभग 13 गांवो के तो अवशेष ही बचे हैं… सैकड़ों स्त्री-पुरुष-बच्चे खुले में पड़े हैं… दिन जैसे तैसे कट…
BJP national spokesperson RP Singh also tweeted this picture with the same claim. (Archive link)
चमोली तपोवन के लगभग 13 गांवो के तो अवशेष ही बचे है पुल बह चुका है सड़कों का नामोनिशां नहीं ऐसे में खाद्यों से भरी बोरियां कंधे पर उठाए @RSSorg के स्वयंसेवको ने मोर्चा संभाल रक्खा है ताकि कोई भूखा न सोये न ही कोई बीमारी से मरे। #UttarakhandGlacierBurstpic.twitter.com/Pnh4162l64
— R.P. Singh: ਆਰ ਪੀ ਸਿੰਘ National Spokesperson BJP (@rpsinghkhalsa) February 11, 2021
BJP leader and actor Paresh Rawal shared the photo too. (Archive link)
— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) February 11, 2021
A simple Google reverse image search led us to the photograph uploaded on July 1, 2013, on Samvada. The article is about the RSS running a relief camp after heavy rains in Uttarakhand eight years ago. It says that 15 relief camps and about 5000 volunteers were working in the flood-affected areas.
We also found this picture in a blog post dated July 1, 2013.
According to a June 9, 2013 article published on the website of the Hindutva organisation, the RSS and VHP along with the army participated in rescue work in Uttarakhand. The Hindu also reported about this on June 26, 2013.
RSS worker Rajesh Padmar tweeted a press release dated June 20, 2013, which said that volunteers delivered essential food items to the flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand during the floods.
RSS Press Release (in Hindi) from Ground Zero: Uttarakhand Calamity Relief Committee. pic.twitter.com/QFohtV84a9
— Rajesh Padmar (@rajeshpadmar) June 20, 2013
An eight-year-old picture was therefore shared with the false claim that it shows RSS carrying out relief work recently in Uttarakhand.