Here Are Some Startups Helping Out With Chennai Floods

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Here Are Some Startups Helping Out With Chennai Floods

With rains continuing to lash away in Tamil Nadu, and the Army being called in for rescue, the situation is dire for residents of Chennai. Flights and trains have been cancelled as well. NDTV's liveblog is currently tracking relief efforts as water levels continue to rise in parts of the city, and the Indian Army moves in with three more columns.

A number of startups and companies from around the country are stepping in to provide relief efforts in whatever way they can.

Paytm is offering Rs. 30 worth of free talk-time to anyone who would like to remain connected. Users who want to avail of this facility can dial Paytm's hotline (18001030033).

Practo has a spreadsheet with phone numbers of verified doctors and hospitals available for help in an online spreadsheet.

(Also see: Telcos Offer Free Calls, Data to Subscribers in Flood-Hit Chennai)

Zomato launched a scheme where they will provide meals for flood relief victims, and is offering to buy one meal from their end for every one purchased on the website. Meals can be purchased for two, four, or a hundred people, at Rs. 100, 200, and Rs. 5,000 respectively. Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal tweeted that Zomato received an overwhelming number of requests to reopen meal contributions, after temporarily pausing orders on Thursday to distribute 1,10,000 meals.


Foodpanda will be delivering over 7,000 food packets every day to the affected, in partnership with GiveAway, an NGO and restaurants from Hyderabad, Chennai. In an emailed statement sent in on Friday, the Foodpanda said it will be carrying 3.5 tonnes of vegetarian biryani in food packets, which will be delivered to Amir Mahal Palace to over 15000 affected people every day, across the city.

(Also see: Chennai Floods: Facebook Activates Safety Check, Google Sets Up Resource Page)

Zoomcar is providing free pick up and drop facilities to the nearest hospital, requests can be tweeted to them, and accessed on its hotline at 044-42052772.

Bigbasket has tied up with with Give Away to provide flood relief to Chennai in the form of essential groceries, like bread, milk, eggs, dal, wheat, oil, water, and biscuits. Orders can be placed by Bangalore users on its CSR campaign page, with Bigbasket donating 50 percent of the user's contribution.

Several Chennai residents have opened up their homes to the stranded, and there's an online spreadsheet cataloguing places available for shelter, food offerings, rescue needed, helplines, and doctor numbers, as well as volunteer details. Chennairains.org is providing area updates updated every five minutes by maintaining a crowdsourced list of places and people offering shelter and aid. Karthik Balakrishnan of Hasgeek hosted reusable code on Github, which is now powering cuddalorerains.org.

Stayzilla is hosting a helpline number (+91-7899739348) to facilitate the listing process of those who would like to open up their homes to other Chennai residents.

Knowlarity has launched a Chennai flood helpline at 180030020658 for those who do not have any call charge and are also unable to recharge. This service will help them get connected even when they do not have any balance.

Ola has created safety zones equipped with relief supplies and first aid. This service is open to everyone, free of cost, with address details and contact numbers provided on its blog. A fortnight ago, it launched OlaBoats, employing professional rowers and fishermen to offer assistance in Chennai's waterlogged areas.

Uber announced Thursday that the uberCARE option in the app will let Chennai residents call trucks to neighbourhoods that need relief supplies like medicines, food and other essentials.

Messaging app Lookup has partnered with youth volunteer non-profit Bhumi, to enable doorstep pickup of  clothes and other materials from Chennai, to be donated to the flood victims using the chat app.

Delhi-based Urbanclap, a marketplace for local service providers had reportedly offered free pest control services in rain-affected areas last month.

Airtel, while not exactly a startup, is providing free credit of 50MB mobile data for Airtel prepaid mobile customers with a validity of two days.

Vodafone is offering pre-approved chota-credit of Rs. 10 to all pre-paid customers, and a credit of ten minutes for Vodafone to Vodafone calls, and 100MB of mobile data to all customers with data-enabled handsets.

Know of any other startups or companies providing help? Send us a tweet and we'll update our copy if it's relevant.

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