Social Media playing an IMPORTANT role in helping the Chennai Flood Victims

India’s fourth largest city has experienced its heaviest rainfall in more than 100 years. Social media takes responsibility and provides help to the Chennai Flood Victims.

Due to the constant rainfall, much of the city is now under water. Steering through the flooded streets is difficult for the people and at times perilous leaving many areas cut off. The airport is closed and train services suspended while highways leading into Chennai are blocked. The army and navy are now been deployed to get to those who are still stranded. In some parts of the city, residents have had to go without food. The power supplies in many areas have also been cut.

In this tragic event, social media and the local organizations along with NGOs have come up as the lifeline of people. Social media has been successfully able to ensure that the government reaches out to people and several local organizations and relief teams have been trying to ensure their efforts are there to get people out of this disaster. There were several military personnel and social activists who were helping in carrying our rescue operations. Several of them were engaged in a major operation of supplying food, water and blankets to thousands trapped in flood-hit areas and rescuing the still marooned.

The Kanchipuram district is heavily flooded. The army, navy and air force sustained the rescue and relief work in that area. On Friday, the army chief General Dalbir Singh visited Chennai and reviewed the rescue operations. Railways in southern part have proclaimed trains to Tirunelveli, Rameshwaram and Howrah from Chennai beach station.
Relief materials were plunged from the helicopters in the areas like Tambaram. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs. 1000 Crore as an immediate relief.

Social media – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram opened doors for the people seeking help. Citizens came together on social media and provided rescue relief. Individuals are enthusiastically coming up to provide support. Abdul Rahim’s efforts guided by both online and offline can be seen, “Dear Chennai people, we heard all mobile networks and power are down. If you want to do any mobile recharges, ping us @ 91-98970-49978. We will do what we can. Instead of calling all of your family members, you just message us with their names and numbers. We’ll inform them.”

Google spreadsheets consisting of the helpline numbers and other organizations such as Chennairains.org and Uber Chennai are offering aid to the people. While a page by the name of Chennai Rain Relief 2015 – CRR on Facebook is managing donations and providing not only monetary help but is also delivering items like bed sheets, mats and clothes to the people in need. People can either donate used items directly or donate money, the latter method being possible even internationally. They are also giving regular updates and giving medical treatment to causalities free of cost. “VHS is opening its doors to treat flood victims free of cost. CRR team member & doctor will be spending a couple of hours helping them out.”

Another kind soul, Danush Bhaskar has been providing constant updates about different area of Chennai. But the aspect of his story that touches the most is his love for his four dogs. “I don’t want the dogs through this entire trauma. I’ve been roaming with them the whole day. I barely have energy in me. I could stay with them somewhere, but now I can’t. I don’t have transportation too. I really need to get this done by tomorrow. So if anyone can let me know which boarding is available for SURE?” He posted this on his profile, and immediately people reached out to help, providing a place for his dogs.
Twitter didn’t lag behind as the hashtag #ChennaiRainHelp started trending on twitter. The hashtag is used for both asking for help and providing it. People are tweeting about accommodation places, informing the place where people need help and even giving information regarding animal safety.
It’s truly mesmerising how all of the humanity has come up to help in this dire-time of need.