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Media industry does its bit in Kerala’s hour of crisis

As the incessant rains have wreaked havoc in the state, media companies such Star India, Times Network, India Today Group, BARC India, Mathrubhumi, Viacom18 and agencies like DAN and Wavemaker have taken up various relief initiatives

Nature has shown its cruel side with excess rain that has triggered floods and landslides in Kerala. The incessant rain has already claimed many lives and rendered lakhs homeless. The state needs assistance even for basic necessities such as food, drinking water, medicines and toiletries.

Kerala is a significant state in terms of media consumption and advertising contribution. Multiple media houses have come forward to crowd-fund and also donate from their own pockets. In addition, media agency networks too are chipping in. Dentsu Aegis Network and Wavemaker South too are collecting funds.

Here are some of these initiatives:

Star India

Star India and its employees have stepped forward to donate and mobilise disaster relief for the flood-ravaged state. It will donate Rs 2 crore to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) of Kerala. Additionally, Asianet employees have pledged Rs 25 lakh and all Star India employees are being encouraged to donate at least one day’s salary. Star India will match the total contribution of its employees. The donations will be directed to the CMDRF.

Furthermore, Star India has partnered with the NGO ‘Goonj’ to help in the supply of material. The network will rally support from the public through the #AllForKerala campaign aired across the network of over 50 channels in eight languages along with Hotstar, featuring artists such as Mohanlal, Kamal Haasan, Dean Jones, Nani and a host of Star network show icons, urging its viewers to step forward to help Kerala.

Uday Shankar

Uday Shankar, President, 21st Century Fox Asia, and Chairman and CEO, Star India, said, “The rains have wreaked havoc in Kerala, which is facing its worst floods in a century. We believe we must do everything in our power to help. In an endeavour to support the on-going relief and rehabilitation efforts in Kerala, we are mobilising funds and creating public awareness through the reach of our network. We hope these efforts act as a catalyst of proactive action in this hour of need.”

“The floods in Kerala are a tragedy of truly epic proportions,” said K Madhavan, Managing Director, Star South India business. He added, “At this time we must do everything possible to help the state administration in undertaking the difficult task of flood relief and rehabilitating lives. We would like to tell the people of Kerala, we are with you in this hour of need.”

The Campaign:

Viacom18

Amplifying its ability to reach masses and drive social action, Viacom18 has mobilised a crowd-funded donation platform in partnership with Give India, wherein all proceeds will go to Goonj to bolster disaster relief efforts in healthcare and sanitation facilities in the flood-affected areas. In addition to the amount donated by employees, Viacom18 through its CSR fund will match the donations in equal amount. The link for this initiative is https://letzchange.org/campaigns/viacom18-fundraiser-for-kerala-viacom18.

In addition to direct fund donation, Viacom18 is helping mobilise funds through its network of top channels in the South India market. Colors Kannada, Colors Super and Colors Tamil will be running on-air celebrity bytes, tickers and vignettes – encouraging viewers to donate and support the NGO Goonj in its endeavour to provide basic amenities.

India Today Group

The Care Today foundation, an India Today Group initiative, has donated Rs 10 lakh to the #SOSKerala relief fund. The India Today group has also urged citizens to open their hearts and make a donation through the Care Today foundation. Donate Now by Cheque or DD in the name of Care Today A/C Kerala SOS and send it to Care Today, India Today Mediaplex, FC-8, Sector 16-A, Noida, 201301.

All donors’ names will be shown on India Today Television. Contributions of more than Rs 10,000 will be named in the India Today magazine.

Times Network

Times Network, part of The Times Group, has initiated a fund-raiser campaign, ‘India For Kerala’, to create awareness and to raise funds. Through this initiative, Times strives to give the cause a unified voice and encourage the nation to join hands and contribute to support Kerala.

The ‘India For Kerala’ initiative seeks to help people who have been affected by the deluge and rebuild their lives.

Citizens can donate funds in form of cheques in favour of ‘Times Foundation’ to Times Foundation, 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi, 110002 or NEFT/RTGS. The collected amount will be donated to the Kerala CM’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). Details on the donation process can be accessed at www.timesnownews.com/IndiaForKerala.

This national-level drive will run through www.timesnownews.com and all the English news and entertainment brands of the network to create maximum assistance for lakhs of people displaced by the floods. Times Network has initiated helpline services for citizens if they are stranded somewhere or have a story to tell at 022-6754-9522/9388. They can share their video and audio at the Whatsapp number – 8291995633.

MK Anand

MK Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network, said, “Indians have always treasured Kerala as ‘God’s Own Country’, which today sadly stands ravaged by nature’s fury. ‘India for Kerala’ is an act of urgency that requires support and solidarity to rebuild Kerala. Through this initiative, we aim to offer a nationwide reach to a pained plea to all Indians to step forward and donate to this task of relief and rehabilitation. I’m sure this will appeal to the consciousness of Indians to generously donate funds in the endeavour to provide succour to the affected.”

BARC India

BARC India, under its CSR arm BARCares, has decided to contribute to help rebuild Kerala. The employees have come together to donate their salaries (one day/half a day), clothes and food, which will be sent to the Kerala relief fund. BARC India has also installed donation boxes outside all its three offices in Mumbai to collect donation from nearby offices.

Mathrubhumi

Mathrubhumi has launched KeralakkoruKaithangu (a flood relief initiative by Mathrubhumi).This multi-phase relief mission sought readers’ support to help Kerala tide over the crisis. They have appealed to people to come forward to help fellow beings in their darkest hour.

Mathrubhumi had earlier come forward to help ease the suffering of the people in Kuttanad as done earlier during the Chennai floods, Okhi disaster and the Gujarat earthquake. In these relief efforts, the public extended big help to affected people through Mathrubhumi.

Money is the most essential thing that is needed for the relief work. Medicines, canned food items, rice, sugar, biscuits, pulses, matchboxes, candles, bed sheets, towels, sanitary pads, soap, Dettol and bleaching powder are also needed. Individual organisations and students can contribute their bit to the relief efforts.

Wavemaker

The media agency partnered with Malayalee Media Association and helped them collect relief material. Many donated money. Their teams bought clothes, inner wear, sanitary napkins, medicines, essentials and got it packed and transported to Kerala.

It also spoke to and coordinated with many clients like ITC, Tata Tea, Arvind, Zivame and MTR Foods to participate in the collection drive.

This was part of the larger effort of the Malayalee Media Association.

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