When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -I

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -II

As mentioned in both these posts, I relied heavily towards the Online world during the recent floods.. There was no news that was right or accurate elsewhere… Here is an article I wrote for DNA based on the same..

Next time someone tells me “you are spending too much time online” I shall give them OTS [one tight slap]. Why? Well, that is how awesome the online world has been the past few weeks. When the rains hit Chennai late November, I was following the action across the city via Twitter and then I discovered the forums on Facebook- Tamilnadu Flood- Support and Chennai Rains relief group. Soon after I found #chennairains and #chennairainshelp on Twitter. I live in Chetpet, an area that wasn’t too affected, so after I was done making sure our household help were taken of, I headed out to buy some pedigree, biscuits and bread and fed every possible stray that I found. I have also been leaving food and milk out daily, a couple of times along the streets in my area. I sent out about 20kg bags of rice, and 40 kgs of dal to a relief camp yesterday. For the dogs, I sent out bread, food, bowls, newspapers as well..
On the second day, I began connecting people who had relief materials with those in need, helping update the Google doc that had been put together and that is how the ball rolled. Teamed up with a best friend, Radha Srinivasan and her husband Jaishankar, we put a plan to collect material from all over the city and head out to see who needed what. Twitter was a big help in this. We tracked, we hunted and we went out into knee-deep water to give people basic necessities, food and everything else we thought they needed- clothes, medicines (especially for fever, headaches and Cybol for fungal infections), blankets, mats, juices, milks (tetra pack), water and soaps as well. 
Day before yesterday, we loaded their Ertiga with these items – 300 packets of food, equal number of water, some clothes, medicines and headed out towards the OMR area. There we found the Fathima Child welfare centre- with about 100 kids, and gave them water. A kid from one centre took us to their two other shelters, where we distributed more stuff. On a whim, we decided to drive down and find more places to help. We found Tsunami colony [road opp TCS], Chemmenenchery and gave out nearly 300 packets of biscuits, water and food packets. We also nearly got mobbed there, but managed to survive. We heard later that there were nearly 20,000 people inside and that some hadn’t received any relief. So we put a team together. 

Article source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/comment-chennai-rains-how-the-social-media-helped-chennaites-reach-out-to-people-in-distress-2153424