Brands have stepped in to provide help after Jammu and Kashmir experienced its worst floods in the last 60 years.
The concern of ordinary citizens and companies alike was evident on social media. Within days of the disaster #KashmirFloods and #J&KRelief started to trend on the micro blogging site Twitter.
The airline industry has come out in full support of those stranded due to the disaster. The DGCA too had put out a mandate on September 8, asking all airlines to waive off charges for passengers cancelling trips to Srinagar.
Air India added two additional daily flights to ferry people stranded in the flood-hit State. Additionally, it will carry supplies along with each flight into the area.
Jet Airways has further extended the waiver for refund on all tickets issued for travel to and from Srinagar up to 14 September 2014. IndiGo has been carrying medication and blankets on all its flights.
Apart from this, global companies are also doing their bit to ease the suffering of the people stranded.
The social wave
#JKReliefFund began to trend once the website jkfloodrelief.org was set up. This was an undertaking started by volunteers who are currently working in Jammu and Kashmir. The website is run in collaboration with major companies such as IndiGo, Cipla, Twitter India, Google India and Aircel, alongside major NGOs such as Goonj who are well versed in providing aid. The website provides comprehensive information as to what supplies/materials are required and how people can get the supplies/material out to people. The website runs a daily blog that constantly provides updates as to what is being done in the affected areas.
Google India has set up a 'live person finder'. The service allows anyone to look up the status of someone who has been displaced due to the flood. The service can be accessed via the internet and text messaging.
Twitter India too has launched an automated SOS helpline that is being run by Frrole. Updates can be received via the #KashmirFloods.
Airtel has set up VSAT terminals with wi-fi equipment. These were flown into Srinagar airport with the help of the armed forces. Airtel has also set up a public wi-fi hotspot to help everyone get online and use services like Whatsapp and e-mail to reach out to their friends and family. Airtel will be installing four more VSAT terminals in strategic locations as directed by rescue teams/DoT for public access to wi-fi. Additionally, talktime worth 50 minutes has been credited to all Airtel mobile customers in Kashmir.
Further, PayTM has announced that that it will match every donation made via their app to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
And interestingly, one of the most active Twitter accounts has been that of the Indian army, which actively tweets to update people on the progress of rescue operations.