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Fact Check: No, this viral image is not related to Makar Sankranti

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The viral picture has no link to Makar Sankranti or any religious festival or event. The image was a part of a campaign organised by an NGO over three years ago.

On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, an image of a woman dressed in a white outfit with wings attached and bloodstains on it has surfaced on social media claiming that the woman is protesting against kite flying during Makar Sankranti.

The image was shared by a Facebook user with a caption in Hindi that can be roughly translated to, “This woman is playing the role of a bird that has been injured by kite flying during Makar Sankranti. She should also play the role of a goat in Eid to set an example of communal harmony. Please convey the message to the lady.”

The post received over 200 reshares. 

The same image is also doing rounds on Twitter with the same claim. 

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun god and kite flying is a major part of the festivities.

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. The viral picture has no connection with Makar Sankranti. The image dates back to August 2017 and it is from an NGO campaign held in Delhi for animal rights. The campaign was against the use of harmful kite threads (manjha) that sometimes kill birds. 

The two posters seen in the viral image have the words “Abhay Daanam”. Taking a hint from this and performing keyword search, we found several news reports published in August 2017 about Abhay Daanam’s campaign against harmful kite threads.

On checking NGO's Facebook page, we found the viral picture along with other pictures of the same campaign posted in 2017.

A picture of this campaign is also available in the photo gallery of Getty Images. The photo caption to it reads, “Volunteers of the Abhay Daanam Bird care shelter and veterinary hospital protest against the sale of 'manja', or kite flying thread, in New Delhi on August 4, 2017./AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH.”

In conclusion, the viral picture has no link to Makar Sankranti or any religious festival or event. The image was a part of a campaign organised by an NGO over three years ago.

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