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#MumbaiRains: Social media plays formidable role in lending a helping hand

With Mumbai inundated with torrential rains for two straight days, there are several who are caught in the downpour without food, water and shelter. This has revived the memories of the flooding of Mumbai on July 26, 2005 following the eighth heaviest-ever recorded 24-hour rainfall figure of 944 mm (37.17 inches). 

And as on July 26, August 29, 2017 also saw the ever resilient Mumbaikars open their hearts and homes to absolute strangers stranded in flooded streets. There is one formidable weapon in their hands this time – social media. Twitter and Facebook are being used extensively to inform people about the availability of free food, water and shelter across Mumbai. From the common man to celebrities, FM radio stations and Mumbai Police – everyone has been extensively using the social media platforms to offer help and information. 

Prashant Panday, MD & CEO, Radio Mirchi, commended all the FM players “doing yeoman service during #MumbaiRains” and requested I&B Minister Smriti Irani to allow private FM radio players to broadcast news. 

Radio Mirchi is offering “tea, Maggi and love” to anyone in the Lower Parel area. 

Big FM RJ Anirudh Chawla gave company to those stranded in the rains all night, hosting the #MumbaiFlooded show. 

The Mumbai Police Twitter feed was on overdrive, doling out information about flooded roads, traffic jams, availability of free towing service and much more. 

Goibibo, OYO Rooms and many other travel and stay organisations sent out messages to people offering free stay at select properties during this calamity. Cab hailing services like Ola and Uber have announced free rides and other concessions for Mumbaikars. Uber is offering free rides on UberPool with the code ‘MUMBAIRAINS’ urging them to pool together and help fellow Mumbaikars travelling in the same direction to reach home safely while also discarding the surge prices. 

Ola Cabs is providing their Ola Shuttle service free of charge to help people reach their destinations safely without any booking requirement. Anyone who wants to avail the service just has to reach the dedicated Shuttle locations by Ola, which include Powai Hiranandani, Bandra Kurla Complex, Domestic Airport, Lower Parel and Goregaon Hub Mall. 

Facebook, on the other hand, is asking residents of Mumbai to ‘mark themselves safe’ during the flooding in Mumbai so that One’s friends and family know about the well being of the Facebook user. 

Bollywood celebrities, too, are re-tweeting information about where all help is available, as well as some emergency numbers. These include: Farhan Akhtar, Boman Irani, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Vishal Dadlani, Priyanka Chopra, Dia Mirza, Sonakshi Sinha and more.

Setting aside religious differences, Gurudwaras, Ganpanti pandals, mosques and churches have opened their doors for everyone, offering shelter and food. 

Indeed, it is in times of crisis that humanity shows its most resilient face, and these #MumbaiRains are no different.

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