As Chennai reels under the worst-ever floods to hit the Tamil Nadu capital, help is pouring in from all corners. From mosques to shopping malls, colleges to movie theatres and even big companies are opening their doors and hearts to residents of the deluged city.
In addition to trending hashtags, various online tools, lists, groups and services are being used to offer support during this ongoing crisis.
For those in need and also those looking to help, we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of online tools, spreadsheets, groups, maps and places you could use:
1. This Google Spreadsheet is being widely circulated on both Twitter and Facebook with details about places willing to provide accommodation — with the addresses, contact details and profiles of the people offering help https://goo.gl/onqsb6.
2. http://chennairains.org is a website where you could post your contact details, the number of people, the type of emergency and other details, which is then forwarded to concerned authorities. There’s also a volunteer form where people can enlist to help by picking up stranded people, providing shelter, food, etc.
3. On Facebook, Chennai Rain Relief 2015 - CRR page has also put up a form for people seeking or offering help.
4. Many establishments such as Sathyam Cinemas in Royapettah, Phoenix Malls in Velachery and colleges such as SRM in Kattankulathur and Crescent College in Vandalur have opened their doors to people looking for shelter.
5. In addition to people from across the country offering to recharge phones of people who are stranded, telecom minister RS Prasad on Wednesday announced that BSNL will offer free service for a week in the city, starting on Wednesday.
Airtel too has stepped in and is offering free talk-time credit up to Rs 30 to all prepaid customers in Chennai, while Paytm has begun a stay safe imitative — where you can dial 18001030033 and share the mobile number of the person in need, and Paytm will recharge it with Rs 30 talk-time, free of cost.
6. Taxi-aggregator Ola has been offering boats to rescue people, while food delivery app Zomato has put together a ‘Meal for Flood relief’ delivery service for people in submerged parts of Chennai https://www.zomato.com/chennai/chennai-flood-relief-nungambakkam/order.
7. Practo has released a handy list of verified doctors who can be contacted in case of medical emergencies https://goo.gl/N3LFQd.
8. Urbanclap, a marketplace for local service providers, is offering free pest control services in rain-affected areas of Chennai
9. Facebook page Chennai memes has released a list of websites from where those residing out of Chennai can help by ordering food for those in need.
10. Here’s a list of relief centres and their contact details in Chennai http://www.chennaicorporation.gov.in/about-chennai-corporation/Relief_centre.pdf.
11. Also, while some doctors are offering to visit people in their homes, others from Bangalore are willing to drive to Chennai to provide aid.
12. There is a crowdsourced effort to map inundated roads in Chennai. Over 2,400 flooded roads have been added to Chennai’s map so far http://osm-in.github.io/flood-map/chennai.html#11/13.0000/80.2000/-30.
13. Amidst all the chaos, people of Chennai have shown great heart and human values. We therefore wrap up this list with an inspiring video of people forming a human chain to save a biker from being washed away in a flash flood.
United we stand, indeed!