Once the flood waters recede in Chennai, the city folks will recall with pride that their film heroes are indeed heroes in real life too. And standing tall will be actors Rang de Basanti star Siddharth and Balaji. The duo turned out on the streets to help the people.
Siddharth was one of the victims of the rains. His house in the city was submerged, but that didn’t stop him from stepping out and helping those in need. Along with Balaji, who is also a popular radio jockey, the Jigarthanda star formed teams to help stranded people in different parts of the city.
People came forward and lent their cars which were used to rescue people from the flooded areas.
Only packaged food and snacks today PLEASE. Water bottles priority. Also lots of areas still need blankets. Please help. #ChennaiMicro— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) December 5, 2015
Siddharth was soon joined by actors Vishnu Vishal, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Karthi, Khushbu Sundar and Vishal Krishna Reddy. Popular multiplexes like SPI Cinemas and AGS Cinemas opened their doors to offer shelter.
The two-member team grew bigger with the support of many volunteers, mostly from the common people.
“It was heartening to see Siddharth and Balaji come out and help people. We were touched by their gesture and thus wanted to help too,” said Ram Kumar, who joined Siddharth and his team of volunteers.
The teams went around the city collecting food packets, 50 to 100 per batch, and other essentials and getting them delivered to people.
Those who couldn’t come out and volunteer were requested to send donations to Chennai Micro Fund trust, which was used to carry out relief work.
Social media played a pivotal role in this movement, helping the city to get back on its feet.
Lot of requirement. V need a lot more supplies. Pl drop all the supplies you can get @ BigFM office. Come on every1. Lets do this.— RJ Balaji (@RJ_Balaji) December 5, 2015
Rescue and relief operations were carried out with the help of Twitter. Since most telecommunication networks took a hit due to the heavy downpour, people used the social media platform to reach out to one another.
From updating people about the situation on the ground to tracking somebody’s whereabouts with the website chennairains.org collating all information, social media played a big role.
Support also came from maestro Ilayaraja who, on learning that the Little Flower Convent catering to visually challenged, deaf and mute children was under four feet of water, immediately paid them a visit.
The 72-year-old insisted on meeting the children, despite being warned of the high water level.
With life yet to return to normal in the state, these stars continue to work round-the-clock doing their bit to help those in need.
Bathrooms submerged. Water coming out of the drains. I am an affluent actor. This is my house. Imagine rest of TN. pic.twitter.com/tjU2O2vESw— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) December 1, 2015