As the Kerala flood toll nears 400, the natural calamity’s effects have started receding and water level lowering in many parts of the state. Google and telecom operators such as Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL offering relief to Kerala flood victims in the form of assistance in sharing location and free data and talk time credit, etc. Paytm has said donations by its users have crossed Rs. 30 crores, while Apple has started taking donations on behalf of Mercy Corps for the aid of Kerala flood victims. Also, Idea is giving customers free SIM card replacement to customers, and Samsung has made a contribution of Rs. 1.5 crores for relief work.
Paytm says it has received donations from 12 lakh of its users, totalling Rs. 30 crores. The donations are for the Kerala CM's Distress Relief Fund and can be made from the company app as well as website. The digital payments company started taking donations last week.
Apple is also taking donations for Kerala flood relief work via the App Store and iTunes Store on behalf of Mercy Corps, a humanitarian organisation. Users can make contributions of the amount of Rs. 250, Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000, Rs. 2,500, Rs. 5,000, and Rs. 7,500.
Samsung CEO DJ Koh has announced that the company has made a contribution of $300,000 (about Rs. 2 crores) towards relief work for those affected by the Kerala floods. Rs. 1.5 crores have been donated to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, and a relief camp with 10,000 bedding sets will be set up as well. Mobile charging stations will be set up in the relief camp, and mobile phones and tablets will be provided for free voice and video calls. Samsung refrigerators and ovens will also be given for the camps, and company employees will volunteer contribution at this camp.
Coming to Idea, the telecom operator is giving free SIM card replacement for prepaid customers whose SIM cards were damaged in the Kerala floods. Users can opt for this replacement until August 31 by visiting Idea stores. The company has also announced a ‘No Blackout Day’ on August 25, the day of Onam festival. So, customers having packs with free or discounted SMS benefits will get the text messaging benefits on Onam.
Idea has also setup call booths at Kerala flood relief camps in “most affected areas across Kerala” to let users make free calls to their friends and families. It is also working on bringing the network back on the grid in all talukas of the state.Previously, Idea had set up a toll free number (1984) on which users can call and share the number of missing people. The company will then trace the person’s last known location; however, it works only if the missing person has an Idea number.