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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
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.