Chennai has been gushing down with the worst rainfall in a century, and the entire country has unified through social media, willingly lending a hand to the deprived.
Apart from the government officials, social networks, and common people too are coming out to offer help in their own little way to the disrupted city.
With an aim to exploit its reach the most, Twitter coined #ChennaiRainsHelp, #ChennaiVolunteer #ChennaiRescue, trying to streamline the aiding process with these hashtags.
Anybody who is stranded at Kilpauk or near Kilpauk, contact Sahil. Number: 919962335383. #ChennaiRainsHelp Please RT!
— Mhysa Targaryen (@OhSheSnapped) December 2, 2015
Nandambakkam cantonment marraige hall has 700 people who need food ph: 9944422220 #chennairescue
— ரஞ்சித் விக்ரம் (@ranjithvikram19) December 2, 2015
Along with that, Google spreadsheets are also being circulated so that authorities and volunteers keep a tab on the people reaching out for help and a temporary website named chennairains.org has been set to coordinate the basic necessities. Vikas Chawla, founder of Social Beat India shared, “Google spreadsheet is an interesting initiative where people have been warm and welcome strangers at home, there are already 200 odd homes available.”
Besides the streets, social media is flooded with humanitarian messages where people are opening their homes to the stranded, distributing food packets, medicines, transport and even mobile recharges to the needy also carrying out rescue operations. Chawla said, “Trending hashtags is making people aware of the current scenario of the city, enabling them to take action accordingly. Social media is a platform where the breadth of images being shared is much larger and quicker as compared to television making people conscious of the situation.”
Though the country has joined hands through Twitter, marketers have picked up on this opportunity to highlight themselves on social media, misusing the hashtag to drag traffic towards them.
Again, misuse of a hashtag created by Twitter India specifically for help. pic.twitter.com/PhYOQFhsMT
— Karthik Srinivasan (@beastoftraal) December 2, 2015
For the residents to connect to their folks, locate a roof and please their hunger in this chaotic scenario of the city, social media is providing a ray of home.