Social media is a beast that, if tamed, can be a useful tool in reaching out to the right set of people at times of need. Whether it is a case of a natural disaster or gathering support for a civil issue or helping out people, social media has time and again proven itself as a potent tool.
We list few such handles that used social media effectively to help people during Chennai floods, gather support for net neutrality and got ministers to help solve problems tweeted to them by the common man or a woman.
Meet our social media stars:
1. Sushma Swaraj
India’s minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj would top the list of social media stars of 2015. Not once or twice, she has helped Indian citizens stranded abroad for various reasons on many occasions.
For instance, an Indian girl held hostage in the UAE was rescued by authorities after her brother tweeted to Swaraj seeking help. Another case was of Agratha Dinakaran, who lost her passport while she was in Germany and the Indian embassy in Germany contacted her when Swaraj intervened on Twitter.
Swaraj again played a crucial role during the mammoth evacuation India undertook in Yemen before the start of the war. She responded to many evacuation requests sent to her on Twitter and shared updates throughout the campaign.
@SushmaSwaraj she has been kept captive with some other girls. And are even beaten. Pls help— Dev Tamboli (@Devtamboli) August 21, 2015
We have rescued your sister with help of local Police. She is being moved to a shelter home run by Indian Embassy in Dubai. @Devtamboli— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 22, 2015
If your employer does not return your Passport, pl contact Indian Embassy. They will give you travel documents @atulnayak17— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 13, 2015
In Berlin. Lost my passport. Lost my money. Indian embassy only open from 9 30 to 12 30. Does anyone have any contacts?— Agratha Dinakaran (@Agratha) May 4, 2015
Power of the internet and a government that takes swift action. Thank you, truly. pic.twitter.com/96Nnt3GWCz— Agratha Dinakaran (@Agratha) May 4, 2015
This is my little son & source of love. Wish him to reach India safe ?? pic.twitter.com/7bWn8tVNHO— Sabah Shawesh (@SabahShawesh) April 3, 2015
2. Indian Railways and Suresh Prabhu
Another important case study in good governance through social media is that of the Indian Railways. However big the network is, authorities handling its Twitter account make sure to reply to complaints tweeted by passengers. Ranging from food issues to clean toilets to passenger safety , @RailMinIndia responds.
Railway A.C.Staff misbehaved after questioned why not Rail Neer(official packaged water bottle) being sold.Indian railways bad.Staff worse.— Priya Parashar (@priyaparashar) December 26, 2015
@RailMinIndia GoldenTemple mailA.C.Staf desn't knw hw 2 talk 2 females.Seling cheap botled water instead f rail neer— shashank shekhar (@shashank130286) December 26, 2015
@RailMinIndia staff name yogendra in Golden temple mail misbehaved.N no actions evn after complaining.N y cheap water?Rail neer s 2 b sold.— shashank shekhar (@shashank130286) December 26, 2015
3. #SavetheInternet crusaders
Net neutrality has been a raging debate over the past one year. From brands to people to organisation, everyone is trying to save the internet in their own way. It’s not like they were born to fight for us and save the internet. They chose because someone had to.
Call them activists or crusaders; these are the people who chose to pick a side. Medianama founder Nikhil Pahwa (@nixxin), Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (@rajeev_mp), Kiran Jonnalagadda (@jackerhack), All India Bakchod (AIB), @Cleartrip, @Flipkart and many others joined #SaveTheInternet campaign to garner support in favour of net neutrality. Much respect.
4. RJ Balaji and actor Siddharth
#ChennaiMicro was a brainchild of Chennai-based RJ Balaji and popular Tollywood actor Siddharth to drive relief efforts during Chennai floods. From feeding people to arranging for important supplies, Chennai Micro was the hashtag people started using to collaborate and channel relief efforts in the right direction.
As the movement grew larger, many other actors and prominent personalities joined Balaji and Siddharth making #ChennaiMicro a huge success.
If you think we missed any on this list, do let us know in the comments section below.