As visuals are taking centre stage, outrage and compassion are being stitched in the narrative of #AssamFloods.
Every time a tragedy strikes, mankind comes together to survive. In the digital age, the process is increasingly leaving trails and traces online, especially on a public platform like Twitter. The platform becomes a space for people to offer and seek help as well as rant and outrage against the authorities and traditional media. Given the geography of the state, floods are an annual occurrence in Assam. The situation is dreary, leading to questions being raised. The phenomenon is at play once again this year with #AssamFloods where stories are surfacing, unfolding online.
Chief Minister’s Fund
The best way to help out a state in a crisis is to donate to the Chief Minister’s Fund. This money goes directly to the authorities who are in a position to best allocate the money for aspects that need the most attention. It is also the safest avenue, as long as the person sending the money is vigilant to check that they are using the official website. Paytm is another option.
The great old nudge
People across the country are sharing images online, nudging people to donate for the cause and help those who are stuck in the floods. A bulk of such posts are about how the traditional media is not giving attention to the issue, reflecting the sombre mood among netizens. Another prominent set of images shared are screenshots by people who have made their donation.
Influencers step up
Hima Das is being appreciated online for her contribution to help the people in distress. This is key to the process as she is an athlete with a global fan following that is likely to be influenced positively to support the cause.
One of the best use of social media in the #AssamFloods crisis can be seen in the way authorities are sharing updates in real-time. This helps highlight the fact that work is being done and help is on the way — it helps spread hope among all, especially those sitting miles apart, glued to screens.
Also Read: Mumbai Rains: #RainHosts to the rescue
Niche, specific help
While asking for funds and sharing updates about the condition at large is what forms the bulk of messages popping up online, there is a significant share of posts being put up by organisations that deal with specific interests and have the resources to help in that capacity.
Offline goes online
Political and citizens groups in the area are also stepping up to help and the move is being highlighted using social media. While arguments can be made that the intention is good visual PR, it also needs to be kept in mind if that this helps augment the number of people coming forward to help, the exercise is successful enough.