How Social Media Acted As A Boon To Kerala Relief Operations

In our last few posts we have discussed in great lengths how people from all walks of life and all parts of the country are trying to contribute in providing relief to the flood-hit areas of Kerala and its people. Having said that, we cannot ignore the role of social media in creating this awareness. The ingenious use of Twitter; Instagram; WhatsApp and Facebook, helped the citizens of this vast nation get aware of the sad reality of Kerala and helped them in Disaster relief mobilization.

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Authorities have also been using the internet and social media to assist those in need. On 16th August IAS Officer Prashnath Nair wrote a Facebook post, asking for the participation of volunteers in rescue and relief operations.

 Soon, a Facebook group called ‘Flood Technology Support Kerala 2018’ was formed, started by IT professionals. The main objective was to gather information of those stranded and in need of rescue. They put up mobile numbers asking stranded people to send their locations on WhatsApp, the state government used Google Maps to create the option of letting citizens upload their locations where help is needed, thus making the process of rescue operations easy and swift. It now has more than 600 members; 14 whatsApp groups, a Google App and innumerable FB pages.

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Keralarescue.in is another state government initiative. On the website, one can request for help, make a donation, find a nearest relief Centre, get important contact information and/or offer volunteering.

Not only state government but even common people are trying hard to find different digital solutions to help the flood-hit state. A group of freelancers across Twitter have designed a platform on Google Maps that collects and provides verified locations for shelter, rescue, food and water, volunteers, helpline, relief collection, transportation, medicines and more across Kerala.

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Companies like Google, Groffers, Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Google and PayTm are doing their bit too. Google’s Person Finder is a perfect tool in disasters like this, with innumerable people missing and family in look out for their near and dear ones this option allows to either find, or provide information about someone.

Amazon and Flipkart have tied up with various NGO's and have allowed their users to order relief materials online like bed sheets, apparel, toiletries for those in need. 

Even Army, navy and air force have been using social media platforms to coordinate with people and initiate rescue operations. It is estimated that around 1.5 lakh individuals have been rescued through these channels.

I dare you. I beg of you!
What do I have to do to make you read and share this?
I did the 
It was awesome!
Will you? Please?#SaveKerala@CMOKeralapic.twitter.com/9RmMjSKVBC
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) August 16, 2018

 

Using hashtags like , , celebrities, influencers, people of authority and even common man have been raising awareness about the floods by posting important helpline numbers, sharing safe locations, and urging people to donate cash and other necessary items.A lot of unaccounted money and relief items have been collected so far. PayTm alone has collected donations of around 30 crores.

 

Picture Source: Scroll ; Twitter and News Today

 

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