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Fact Check of viral Chhath Puja pictures of women praying in toxic Yamuna river

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Social media became abuzz with several pictures of devotees praying in highly polluted Yamuna river during Chhath Puja. In our investigation, we found out that indeed these pictures are old ones and were clicked during Chhath Puja in 2016.

Amid poor air quality in North India after Diwali, social media became abuzz with several pictures of devotees praying in highly polluted Yamuna river during Chhath Puja.

In the pictures shared by people on Facebook and Twitter, women can be seen performing Chhatt rituals and standing in the middle of toxic clouds produced by Yamuna river due to a high concentration of chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorous from untreated sewage that is dumped into lakes and other water bodies.

A twitter user named Prashant Kannojia shared a picture with a caption which can be roughly translated to, “Picture of Chhatt Puja in Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj. If it is not the end then what it is?”

The tweet was shared more than 300 times. Another Twitter user named Rakesh Jaiswal also shared a bunch of pictures.

These pictures were widely shared on other platforms as well. Girish Anand, a facebook user shared these pictures.

The reality of these pictures

In our investigation, we found out that indeed these pictures are real and are of Yamuna river, but they are old pictures and were clicked during Chhath Puja in 2016.

We found these pictures by photographer Abhinav Saha in a report by Indian Express, published in the year 2016. You can find all these pictures here.

However, in 2019 also the situation is not so different. There are also some recent photos on Social media which show similar scene and can be seen here.

Therefore, we can say the Chhath Puja pictures viral on Social media are old ones and have resurfaced with false claims that they are recent in the wake of severe environmental conditions in North India.

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