By: Mohammad Salman
August 17 2023
Officials from the Shirdi Sai Trust clarified to Logically Facts that the claim of a donation by the trust for the pilgrimage is fake.
What is the claim?
A screenshot of a Google search result is going viral on social media with the claim that Shirdi Sai Trust has donated ₹35 crore for Haj. Users are claiming that the trust donated for Haj but did not give anything for Char Dham and Ram Mandir. The claim is being shared with a communal angle on social media. The archive can be shared here, here and here.
Ever since the construction of the Ram temple began, a section of right-wing groups have been criticizing the Shirdi Sai Trust for not giving any donations for the construction of the temple. There are many such posts on social media platforms, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).
What is the fact?
We checked the official website of Saibaba Trust, but we could not find any point in any section which supports the viral claim.
Gorakshanath Raybhan Nalge, the legal department incharge of the Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, denied this claim. “Not a single penny has been given by Shirdi Sai Trust for Haj. This is fake news. An FIR has also been registered on this matter at Shirdi Police Station,” he told Logically Facts.
We also contacted Inspector Dudhal Rahuri of the Shirdi police. “A complaint has been filed by Sai Trust and we are probing it,” the police confirmed.
If such a donation had been made by the trust, it would have received wide coverage in major news outlets. Apart from this, no statement has been issued on this matter from the official Facebook and X accounts of Shirdi Trust.
We found a 2020 Dainik Bhaskar report covering Sai Trust's donations worth 51 crore to the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Relief Fund to fight against COVID-19. Most of the reports we found covered donations received by the trust.
Additionally, we found a Marathi report by ETV Bharat published on April 24, 2023 stating that there is no provision of funding to temple's in the trust. Adding that no request was made to the trust to donate for the construction of the Ram temple. Every decision made by the trust is announced on the website with the legal approval of the Maharashtra High Court and the state government.
In the report, the chief executive officer of the institute, Rahul Jadhav, has been quoted as saying that this kind of propaganda is being done to defame the institute and create religious controversy. “We will take legal action against those defaming the institute through this propaganda,” he was quoted as saying.
The legal department head of Shirdi Sai Trust confirmed to Logically Facts that it did not donate for the Haj. Therefore, we mark this claim as false.
Translated by: Rajini KG