Flash floods and heavy rains have wreaked havoc in Kerala over the past few days. Popularly known as ‘God’s Own Country’, the state experienced its worst floods and heaviest rainfall since 1924.
More than 400 people have died, and over two million have been displaced in what is being termed as one of the worst floods in a century. Over 20,000 relief camps have been set up and ten out of 14 districts have been severely affected. The losses are estimated to be close to Rs 20,000 crore.
Help is pouring in from people all over the country and the world, who are contributing in cash or by way of relief material. In this scenario, startups have also stepped in to help the flood affected.
From making it easier to contribute by tying up with NGOs and helping with transport of goods, these startups are doing their bit to help Kerala.
Delhi-NCR based fintech startup and digital wallet major Paytm has included a new feature – ‘Kerala Floods’ on its homepage, which has been directly linked to the Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) account. This has made it simpler for its users to donate on the Paytm platform. The company claims to have received a total of Rs 20 crore since it launched the feature on August 16. However, it says that it won’t be able to provide tax exemption receipts, but it promises to match every donation “Rupee-for-Rupee” for up to Rs 1 crore.
New unicorn Zomato along with Bengaluru-based NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation, has launched a feature ‘Help Kerala’ on its app. Through the app, one can donate food from one of the three meal packages. The packages include a meal for three costing Rs 90, a meal for six costing Rs 180 and a meal for ten people at Rs 300. Zomato says the food will be delivered to people with the help of meal delivery vans and boats.
Amazon India along with Delhi-based NGO Goonj and three other NGOs-Habitat for Humanity India, World Vision India and OXFAM India is allowing users to order relief materials online. The user has to tap on the donation banner on the app and select one of the four NGOs to browse through their wishlist. They can pick the items they want to donate and then select the respective registry delivery addresses before paying. The materials include bed sheets, toiletries, clothes, and cooking utensils, among others. This feature is available on both Amazon app and through its website.
Bengaluru-based online grocery store BigBasket has also tied up with Goonj to help people donate essential products to the flood-affected. The donation can be done by using any of the ‘Bundle Packs’ available on the website and the app. There are five such packs that include essentials in different quantities, comprising rice, biscuits, water, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, etc. By clicking on the Kerala Flood Relief banner on the Big-Basket app or website, it diverts the user to another page where he/she can shop for products and pay for them. All products ordered will be delivered to Goonj, which will then distribute the products in Kerala.
The ecommerce giant has tied up with Goonj to facilitate donations to flood victims. This tie-up allows one to make monetary donations on Flipkart, which in turn will be used by Goonj to procure blankets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, dry rations, toiletries, cooking utensils, and more. Users can donate by clicking on the banner ad for Kerala donations on the Flipkart app or its website. The user will be taken to a page where they can donate to Goonj.
The Uber team in Kochi stepped up to act as a free transportation service to the nearest relief camp for people who wished to donate products but were unable to. The user just has to choose the option ‘flood relief’ on the Uber app, following which the Uber driver will pick up the products from your location and deliver it to the nearest relief camp.
Online payment app Simpl is helping one donate instantly towards the flood affected in Kerala. All the donations made through the Simpl app will be routed to the CMDRF. Simpl says that it will transfer the total donations to CMDRF every day at 2 pm.
Google’s mobile payments service Google Tez had added a feature dedicated to Kerala floods. On opening the Tez app, the user could find Kerala Chief Minister account option under the business category to which the users can donate. This feature is directly linked to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund account. This feature is currently unavailable.