Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Positive power of social media networks in rain-ravaged Kerala

We Are The World Blogfest
Many of you, especially those who are living in India, would have known about the torrential rain that battered the south Indian state of Kerala most of August, resulting in flooding of vast areas of the state. Over 400 people died, and property worth millions have been damaged.

Read more about the devastation in The New York Times and BBC.


Amongst the calamity, what stood out as a beacon of hope and cheer was the way everyone got together as one, and lent a helping hand to others. There have been innumerable such instances across the state, which the media have been highlighting.

Many people came forward to write notes
for students who had lost their
notebooks in the flood. - The Hindu
One of the them is how a non-profit in the north Kerala district of Kozhikode, Incubation, initiated a campaign to provide the notes for different subjects that children had painstakingly written down in their classes but were lost in the floods.

A message on social media calling for volunteers spread rapidly among networks. The notes were then shared in PDF format with the volunteers who had signed up. They then copied the notes on to new notebooks, and handed them over to the coordinating agency, who then distributed them to children who had lost their school notes.

It is amazing that in virtually no time, nearly 10,000 notebooks, with all the notes, were recreated and handed over to the children.

Read more about this wonderful initiative:

Kerala pens history by writing notebooks for flood-hit children

‘Write’ help at the right time

To an unknown child, a notebook of compassion


Another similar effort was one that was championed by Ramesh Babu, a former captain of the Indian Navy who is currently a managing director of Mazagon Docks, a government shipbuilding company in Mumbai. (Incidentally, he was my senior in school.) His focus was on the toys that the children had lost. He contacted various agencies across the country, and thousands of toys are now on their way, all free of cost, for the children.

Read more:

Kerala flood relief has a made-in Mumbai toy story

These anecdotes are also a testament to the massive power of the social media to catalyse the good intents of people to bring about positive changes in our society.

(This post has been shared in two blogfests - Midlife Share The Love Link Party and We Are The World Blogfest)


  1. Excellent coverage of the role of social media--some of my friends volunteered for the notebook project. My own WATWB post this time was about the positive use of social media in Kerala.


  2. How wonderful to see the best of human nature on display. I always love it when people step up during times of crisis to ease the pain of those who have been affected. So nice to see the kids being helped by both of these endeavours. #MLSTL :)

  3. It's so nice when people step up to help.

  4. Hi Pradeep - I'll be back to read your links etc ... but two amazing ideas to help the children in Kerala ... so pleased to read it - take care ... cheers Hilary

  5. Hats off to those volunteers, especially the fishermen.

  6. I'm glad people are willing to help in such times. There has been a lot of extreme weather to deal with lately.

  7. Thanks for sharing my report, Pradeep. Actually, social media drove the entire rescue and relief operations in Kerala.

  8. The examples that you have given are very powerful. Thank you for sharing them!

  9. What a wonderful example of how to use social media in a positive way. During hardship, people do rally and thank you for sharing your positive story at #MLSTL.

  10. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it in our WATWB.

  11. As we're battening down the hatches waiting for hurricane 'Florence' to hit our area, I was particularly interested in your heart-warming post. I'm going to share this on my social media for #MLSTL. So heartbreaking that you all endured so much devastation and loss of life. Thank you for sharing this Pradeep!