I am writing today’s blog filled with tears and a sad heart to let the readers know that there are about 2 million people that are displaced in the city of Chennai, India today due to the recent massive floods. This flood is the worst seen in over 100 years in Chennai’s history. The last time this happened, Chennai (ancient city called Madrasapatinam) was not as densely populated as today (although we do not have actual numbers because census data is not available from 100 years ago). And to make matters worse the rainy season has just begun. It is anticipated that the rains may continue for another month or so.
The gravity of the situation down in the city of Chennai can be understood by these two examples:
The Hindu, one of India’s largest print newspaper has for the first time not published it’s morning edition, since 1878. (Yes - 1878 - One Hundred and Thirty Seven years)
All flights to and from Chennai have been suspended. Only limited set of emergency fights for critical people. All other flights have been diverted.
My attempt at this blog is to record the event and to bring awareness to others so that we can all help in our own ways to improve the human condition suffered by people of the world. And unless we all unite and build a better tomorrow not only for us but our next generation, we the people that live among the wealthy nations of this world will suffer the same fate and demise as nature unravels it’s fury. For the people of Chennai, India - the worst is yet to come as the after effects of flood such as increase in diseases from food borne viruses, lack of clean drinkable water, lack of clean sanitary conditions, lack of proper drainage systems to move the human waste.
Below are some pictures of today’s condition as I write this:
And for people who do not know where this is here is a map of India with the area that’s being impacted.
(pictures are not mine and I have taken these from the internet (and news) to share the story of the devastation suffered)
Here are some links where you can read about the current situation and ways you can help support the cause (I am not affiliated with any):
Ways you can help
Share the link to this and other articles on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. As more people become aware of the problems facing humanity, the more government organizations will move towards supporting causes that makes an impact on humanity today. Right now the floods in Chennai are mentioned as a footnote in the daily news by the big news medias of the world.
Support organizations that are working towards making an impact such as the following:
New Delhi Television (NDTV) has partnered with Fever 91.9 FM Chennai to coordinate relief and rescue efforts via phone, messages and on Twitter with the hashtag #NDTVFeverFMChennai. The SOS messages are being shared with relevant authorities.
If you are a person in Chennai and you need a quick recharge on your phone (Airtel/Aircel/Vodaphone sites are down for recharge) for making emergency calls, PayTM (a local Chennai tele company) is offering a free recharge of Rs.30. Please call 1-800-103-0033 and they will recharge your phone free of cost so that you can make the needed emergency calls.
Facebook, has activated its Safety Check feature for the Chennai floods. The page helps people mark themselves or others as ‘Safe’ on the social network letting their friends and relatives know that they are alright.
Twitter has also officially endorsed a list of hashtags that are being used for help and rescue during the crisis including #ChennaiRainsHelp #ChennaiVolunteer #ChennaiRescue.
Restaurant App Zomato (popularly known as Urbanspoon in the USA) has also launched and announced ‘Meal for flood relief’ with which people can order free meals for flood victims. For every order placed, Zomato will match the same amount. #ChennaiRains #MealsForChennai
When you consider donating during the holidays (and year-end), consider donating to organizations that help people in these areas that have a USA charter (for tax-deduction purposes). Please make sure you thoroughly research the charity before making a contribution. There are a lot of charitable scams going around. Here are some I am familiar with:
Most big organizations such as Google, Amazon, Zappo, Facebook, IBM, US Federal Government, Microsoft (and many others I have not mentions because the list will go on and on) have donation programs that match dollar for dollar. Please consider nominating one of the charitable trust that can directly help with the flood victims.
Google & Amazon Drones: If you or someone you know at Google or Amazon that’s working on the drone project. Talk to the project team to see if you can use these drones to help identify people in crisis. You may be able to provide live feed to critical areas of impact while testing the prototypes. In my view this is the best place to test one of those drone projects to see how it can be leveraged to help humanity in crisis while getting some well needed PR. This will also benefit the companies because the air and FAA regulations will be nonexistent in this crisis situation in Chennai, India. _If you’re someone from Google or Amazon Droid project, reading this, I am willing to volunteer my time to help with the logistics and in test driving your drones on the ground in Chennai while we help the folks up there. :-) _This is a great way Google & Amazon can make a positive impact to humanity while furthering science and technology!
Donate Portable Chargers: At this time, about 2 million people are without electricity to charge their cell-phones. Companies manufacturing portable battery chargers can help organize efforts to distributing USB portable charge units. This is beyond my capability but large companies can organize and mobilize this. Hopefully there is a reader out that who works for one of these companies that can make this happen.
To the Google’s, Amazon’s and Facebook’s of the world: deploying portable mobile floating units for the following is essential:
Rescue emergency folks
Distribution of bottled water
Distribute food and medical supplies
Dysentery and antibiotics supplies
Long Term Global Needs:
Innovations in building portable, low-cost water filtration systems for drinking
Portable solar cells for charging bare essentials
Mobile-Floating Cell Towers for areas in crisis
If I have missed or if you come up with other means to help, send me an email and I will add the information on this page.
List of Emergency Contacts in Chennai and Surrounding Areas
Tree Fall, Water Logging: 1913 Sewage Overflow: 45674567,2200335 State Emergency: 1070 District Emergency:1077 Electricity: 1912 **Fire & Rescue: **101
Here are the regional office numbers: Tiruvottiyur: 9445190001 Manali: 9445190002 Madhavaram:9445190003 **Tondiapret: **9445190004 **Royapuram: **9445190005 Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar: 9445190006 Ambattur: 9445190007 **Annanagar: **9445190008 Teynampet: 9445190009 Kodambakkam: 9445190010 Valasaravakkam: 9445190011 **Alandur: **9445190012 Adyar: 9445190013 Perungudi: 9445190014 Sholinganallur: 9445190015
Please share this article with others you may know so that we can bring more awareness to this crisis.
And for the folks in Chennai, India - Live and Stay Strong!
#ChennaiRainsHelp #ChennaiVolunteer #ChennaiRescue #NDTVFeverFMChennai #ChennaiRains #MealsForChennai