THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Do-gooders, unorganised but united, are using social networking sites and messaging apps to come together and ginger up a soggy Chennai. They represent no political movement, are not part of an NGO, and do not go by a common name.
One such group has a Thiruvananthapuram connection. "We are the 2006 Commerce batch of St Thomas Residential School," says Deepthi Nirmal who lives at Marthandam. "I could not be there, physically. However, from Day One of the torrential rains, since connectivity was a problem, I started helping with connecting the ones who were in need with the ones who were ready to help. My friends at Madras Christian College contacted me, when they got to know about my effort," she says.
They posted a poster saying 'Wake up Trivandrum, bring your supplies to help Chennai', which raced through various social networking sites and messaging apps on Thursday.
At the collection points in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, supplies poured in. "We have five collection points in Thiruvananthapuram. We collected 200 cartons of mineral water and dresses at Vanchiyoor. In Cochin, we heard that they were able to collect power banks and batteries as well. Since there are power outages, these could be very useful," says Nandu Oommen Raju, who works as a Chartered Accountant in Thiruvananthapuram.
Cartons from Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin will be ferried to Chennai in volvo bus services. At Marthandam more supplies will be added. In Chennai, the supplies will be received by three of Deepthi's friends, Arun Kumar, Veera Guru and Sudheesh. "I studied with them at Madras Christian College. They stay in the Northern part of Chennai, where the army and other relief personnel are yet to reach. The relief work has mostly been happening in the affluent areas," says Deepthi.
She says that the three friends have been providing meals to more than 5,000 people, with the help of more individuals. "One of my friend owns a fleet of 500 lorries. Food is supplied on them to people who are stranded," she says.