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Brands step forward to help Kerala’s flood-affected

God’s own country, Kerala, has been devastated by floods. To help the flood-hit state, big brands have joined the efforts with material and money to bring some amount of respite

As Kerala continues to reel under an unprecedented spell of floods, brands have joined hands to contribute to help affected people. Tanishq was quick to pull down an Onam and sent its teams to the ground to help residents. Despite the challenges in the way, the top five telecom brands are constantly trying to improve connectivity, allowing the stranded people to keep in touch with their family members. Amazon, Google, Flipkart, Paytm, ITC have also stepped forward to do their bit.

A quick look at how brands are contributing:

Amazon:

E-commerce giant Amazon has partnered with Habitat for Humanity, World Vision India and Goonj to help deliver essential supplies to the state. Users can select an NGO that has curated a wish list and browse products to buy. Once these products are selected, added to the cart and checked out, they can be added to a Gift Registry Address. The wish list includes sanitary napkins, toothpaste, mats and a few daily necessities.

Flipkart:

Flipkart is raising funds through its application. In association with Goonj, the e-commerce brand is going to reach out to 30,000 families in the next three months. The NGO will provide these families with a basic kit of dry ration, mats, utensils and other essentials. The brand has already raised more than Rs 50 lakh.

Paytm:

Paytm has allowed its users to contribute some monetary aid. In less than two days, the e-wallet received Rs 10 crore from more than four lakh Paytm users. On the homepage of Paytm, the application provided an icon of open hands that allowed its users to donate. It claimed that it will match the users’ contribution rupee for rupee.

Apart from the Kerala relief fund, Paytm has also opened up contributions for Kodagu, Karnataka, on the application.

Airtel:

The telecom giant has offered free charging booths at Airtel flagship stores in Thrissur, Calicut, Malappuram Kannur, Kottayam, Trivandrum and Ernakulam. The brand is also providing open WiFi at five major relief stations in Kerala. Airtel has approved a talk time of Rs 30 for all its prepaid mobile customers. It has also allowed free 1 GB data for smartphone users, valid for seven days. For post-paid customers, Airtel has sanctioned an extension of bill payments.

Despite the lack of power supply, Airtel has deployed VSAT at five major relief centres in Kerala to provide free Wi-Fi and calling facility.

Vodafone:

Vodafone has mobilised its network of employees, customers, partners, vendors and supporters for relief work. The brand is offering its customers ‘Chota Credit’ of up to Rs 30. To activate this Chota credit, Vodafone prepaid customers can SMS ‘Credit’ to 144 or dial *130*1#. Additionally, 1 GB of mobile data is being auto-credited, free of cost, to all Vodafone prepaid smartphone users in Kerala.

To ensure that post-paid customers have uninterrupted access to services, Vodafone has given an extension on bill payment dates.

BSNL:

The state-run brand is offering free on-net and off-net 20 minutes call per day to their customers. BSNL is helping the affected to find their loved ones by just dialling 1948 and know their last activity. In return, the brand sends an SMS to locate the BSNL user.

It will also allow its users to use unlimited SMS and data for the next seven days.

Jio and Idea, apart from BSNL, Vodafone and Airtel, are also offering data and calling benefits to prepaid customers in the state. Post-paid users have been offered extension on bill payments and uninterrupted services.

Google Maps:

It’s becoming difficult for families to stay together under one safe roof. The search engine, through its map, is helping the flood-affected to find the nearest shelters and helping homes. The maps provide information about the nearest shelter, medicines, ambulance, jeep rescue, clothing, electricity power station and everything required in the crisis.

Google’s Person Finder crowd-sourced the information and provided whereabouts of the people trapped. The users can send the plus code of their locations, online and offline. By zooming in the map to the maximum, users can drop their whereabouts and share it with others. By sending the same via SMS, users can update their status offline.

ITC:

To provide the affected with extremely basic necessities and food, ITC is working closely with the Nodal Relief Officer, Government of Kerala and the Union Ministry of Food. The brand has already dispatched lakhs of food items to the affected.

Diageo India

In wake of the natural calamity in Kerala, beverage alcohol company Diageo India has donated Rs 1 crore to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met Diageo India officials and acknowledged the company’s contribution towards the relief efforts.

Mathew Xavier, Chief Operating Officer (South), Diageo India, said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kerala in this difficult time. It is our endeavour to support communities during tough situations, and our contribution is a step towards rebuilding the state. We will continue to provide any additional help that the state may require in the days to come.”

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