One of the most popular holiday destinations and beautiful states in India has been struck by tragedy. Fondly known as ‘God’s own country’ due to its lakes, beaches and greenery, Kerala is now reeling under the worst floods it has ever seen. As per media reports, over a 160 people have been killed in the worst flood the State has seen in over a century and the situation may get worse.
Pictures of the flooded state and people being rescued has tug at everybody’s heartstrings in the country. People have come together and want to contribute in any way they can. Twitter is abuzz with helpline numbers being circulated by celebrities and citizens, whilst they all pray for the safety of people in Kerala.
The Indian IT sector too has come forward to contribute in the best way they possibly can. Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company Paytm has introduced a special section for people to contribute towards Chief Minister’s Distress Fund. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar has tweeted saying they have collected more than Rs. 1.5 crore for Kerala flood relief while encouraging people to contribute all the more. Now MobiKwik too has started a similar initiative.
It’s not just Paytm and MobiKwik, e-retail giant Amazon too has opened a link for people to contribute towards the flood relief fund. Amazon is working with implementation partners and state/national disaster coordination committees to support those affected by the flood. Amazon has also tied up with 3 NGO’s namely Habitat for Humanity, World Vision India and Goonj to distribute things to people in need.
Apart from these companies, the telecom sector is offering people in Kerala free calls and data. All Kerala Idea Prepaid customers will get 1 GB data free, valid for 7 days. This benefit will be automatically credited to customers, says Idea. While BSNL Kerala is offering free on net and off-net (20 minutes/day) SMS and data to their customers residing in flood-affected areas for the next 7 days.
Vodafone India is offering 1GB free data and credit of Rs 30 to all prepaid subscribers in Kerala and Bharti Airtel has announced several measures like Rs 30 talktime and 1GB data for all prepaid users, extended bill payment dates for all postpaid and home broadband customers, and the company will also deploy five major relief centers in Kerala to provide free wifi and calling facility to people.