A picture of a pink bag that has the text "Eid Mubarak, RAMZAN GIFT, Government of Telangana" written on it is being shared on social media platform with the claim that the Telangana government is distributing Ramadan gifts to Muslims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suresh Chavhanke, editor-in-chief of "Sudarshan News" tweeted the viral photo and wrote, "The Telangana government is offering free, special kits to Muslims for Ramzan On Hindu festivals Ramnavami, Hanuman Jayanti, Ugadi, it was forbidden to even step out of homes (Translated from Hindi)."
His tweet was shared over 10,000 times and garnered over 25,000 reactions.
The Telangana government is distributing Ramadan gifts to Muslims amid lockdown.
The claim is misleading.
Old News Reports
A reverse search led to a news report by iChowk.in. published back in July 2015, which carried the viral image.
The report talks about a gift pack was given by the Telangana government to Muslims on the occasion of Ramadan.
Another report by Sakshi Post published on April 19, 2018, also carried the viral image.
"The Telangana government has announced that it will distribute over four lakh gift packets with clothes for Muslim families in 800 mosques across the state as a Ramzan present. It also said that the distribution process will be initiated by May 20," reads the report.
On May 5, while addressing a press conference, K. Chandrashekar Rao had announced that the state government will not distribute Ramadan gifts this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic which warrants strict social distancing measures (translated from Telegu).
He makes these statements at 1:39:40 time stamp in the video of the conference.
Gift Giving: An Usual Gesture
Reportedly, the state government is in the habit of distributing gifts during festivals.
The Telangana government had distributed gifts to around two lakh Christians from impoverished backgrounds in 2017 and hosted Christmas dinners. The administration started this tradition back in 2015.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi government headed by CM K Chandrasekhar Rao had distributed colourful sarees in 2019 to women below the poverty line as a gift for Bathukamma, a folk festival celebrated in the rural areas of the state coinciding with Dushera festivities.
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