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Rewind 2015: When stars used social media for good causes

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.

year ender 2015 Updated: Dec 29, 2015 17:20 IST
HT Correspondent
Reqind 2015

The year 2015 saw social media like being put to good use by people in distress. Those whom they reached out to for help also responded promptly, sending a positive message across the Internet.(File Photo)

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.

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.

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.