Bengaluru: Kerala and South Karnataka have been hit with the worst ever catastrophic flood in the history which has killed close to 400 people and left thousands homeless. People are still struggling to trace their loved ones who are missing and the armed forces and civil authorities are working round the clock to rescue these victims.
Asianet News Kerala has set up a helpdesk for the people of the flood affected regions and who can send a text message stating SOS followed by the location their location to 8606959595. So far, the campaign has received over 15000 messages and each of these victims have been rescued using choppers or boats with the help of Government forces and civil authorities. The Government is also using this SMS data to trace and rescue victims on time.
About 150 employees of Asianet News Networks have volunteered for the helpdesk and are working non-stop form 15th August. Many of them are also involved in the on-ground rescue operations and have successfully rescued several victims. Asianet News has also started a campaign where the helpdesk will try and get information about the friends and relatives who have been missing. Apart from this, Asianet News has raised over Rs. 2 Crore through a crowd funding campaign and the numbers are expected to double in next few days due to generous donations from people around the world.
Suvarna News and Kannada Prabha had urged its viewers and readers to donate relief materials such as packaged food, water cans, clothes, medicines and daily use products like toothpastes, brush, soaps, blankets etc., The request was aired on 17th August at 8:00pm and by next morning hundreds of viewers dropped in at Suvarna News and Kannada Prabha offices to donate items. The campaign was run for two days and over 70 tons of items from approximately 4000 viewers and readers were collected. These items were transported to flood hit areas of Coorg in 32 trucks and the first batch was dispatched on evening of 18th August, Saturday. Many viewers and police personnels also volunteered in loading the items onto trucks.
Empathizing with the flood victims Amit Gupta, CEO, Asianet News Networks said, “The recent floods have devastated the lives of people in Kerala and South Karnataka and as a responsible media brand, we rose to mitigate the sufferings of the flood victims. Other than the saturated coverage on the floods and rescue efforts, our staff in Kerala and Karnataka are working day and night and are actively participating in the rescue operations. We are also thankful too all the people of Kerala and Karnataka who generously donated items for the flood hit victims.”