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Help pours in from every corner for Chennai

3 Dec 2015
Help pours in from every corner for Chennai
  • As Chennai reels under worst-ever floods, support has poured in from all corners of the country.
  • From politicians to companies, netizens, celebrities, startup and ecommerce founders, people are doing their bit to help those in distress.
  • In addition to trending hashtags, various online tools, lists, groups and services are being used to offer help.
  • Companies like Airtel, Practo, Zomato and Paytm announced relief efforts.

Website offering help

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http://chennairains.org is a website where one could post contact details, the number of people, the type of emergency and other details, which is then forwarded to concerned authorities. There’s also a volunteer form where people can enlist to help by picking up stranded people, providing shelter, food, etc.

Crowd-sourced Google Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet
Crowd-sourced Google Spreadsheet
  • Google Spreadsheet - https://goo.gl/onqsb6 is being widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook with details about places willing to provide accommodation, with the addresses, contact details and profiles of the people offering help.
  • It is a technology-enabled attempt to crowdsource information about relief.
  • As of now, it lists homes in 225 locations in Chennai, from Parry's to Perungudi, that can take in people.

Ola, Uber, Practo pitch in

Start-ups
Ola, Uber, Practo pitch in
  • Taxi aggregator Ola is supporting hundreds of flood-affected Ola drivers with food and lamps.
  • Ola's rival Uber India has joined hands with a food bank in Chennai to deliver food packets, bottled water and other necessities to those who are housed in makeshift shelters.
  • Practo released a list of verified doctors who can be contacted for medical emergencies.

BSNL, Airtel and Paytm offer free talk time

Recharge
BSNL, Airtel and Paytm offer free talk time
  • While it was announced that BSNL will offer free service for a week in Chennai, Airtel too stepped in to offer free talk-time up to ₹30 to Chennai's prepaid customers.
  • Paytm began its 'Stay Safe Chennai' initiative. As per this, one can dial 18001030033 and share the mobile number of person in need and Paytm will recharge it with ₹30 free talk-time.

Open-source project to map the flood

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There is a crowdsourced effort to map the inundated roads in Chennai. Over 2,400 flooded roads have been added to Chennai’s map so far on http://osm-in.github.io/flood-map/chennai.html#11/13.0000/80.2000/-30.

Facebook activates 'safety check' tool for Chennai floods

Safety Check
Facebook activates 'safety check' tool for Chennai floods
  • Facebook activated "Safety Check" tool for its users in Chennai early on Thursday to provide them with a way to reassure loved ones that they are safe in the flood-hit city.
  • The feature allows Facebook to ask users whether they're safe if located near a natural disaster.
  • A click or tap on the "I'm Safe" button lets friends and loved ones know straight away.

Google's crisis response page

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Google launched their crisis response page titled South India Flooding - http://google.org/crisisresponse/2015-chennai-flooding with resources such as emergency helpline numbers, list of relief centres and crowdsourced maps. The page also has video feed from YouTube.