Daily (w)rite went on an involuntary hiatus: continued adverse personal situations made it impossible to blog, but let’s not dwell on that. On to more important questions.
Has Twitter ever struck you as a wellspring of compassion and humanity?
Me neither, but bear with me here.
More than 800,000 people were affected in the devastating floods that hit Kerala, South India, in the past weeks, and like a lot of other people, I was tweeting about it.
A very kind super-tech-whiz picked up on my tweets and introduced me to the team at keralafloodrescue.com : a group of super-smart folk located in all kinds of time zones, who with their IT savvy and connections on the ground had managed to create an updated database of resources to meet the needs on the ground.
For more than a dizzy week, I was part of the team—working to coordinate needs of blood, grains, sanitary products, toilets, cattle feed—you name it. It was exhausting but exhilarating work—and you can see evidence of it on my twitter feed. We found resources on twitter via other kind and knowledgeable tweeps: transport, water, school supplies— it all stunned me the first day because I’d never imagined social media could have a potential for SO much good.
My teammates ( some of them here) were kind with their help when I couldn’t work with excel sheets, or messed up numbers; patient when I didn’t understand Malayalam. They were untiring in their drive to find a supplier for a need as it when it came up, courteous with suppliers, stoic over unpleasant phone calls to various stakeholders–cheerful ALL the time, even when they juggled volunteering with their day jobs, and spent sleepless nights maintaining the site.
I’ve had personal challenges for a while, but all my sadness vanished around these people, united by no other agenda than the desire to help faceless strangers far away. For the last week, I’ve been wanting to shout from the rooftops: BEHOLD, THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD–and they’re making a difference!
So, here I am, shouting it out.
The Kerala flood brought a lot of heroes in its wake, known and unknown.
To me, this team, as a single organism, was a Superhero: working hours across time zones to ensure that the flow of information remained unwavering, constant. We had 4 million hits on the keralafloodrescue.com site in about 10 days–with people from all walks of life searching for information about the flood affected areas, and using it to coordinate their efforts on the ground.
I haven’t met the other team members, and not even spoken to some of those working behind the scenes. I probably will never get to meet them—but I’m fortunate I got to be part of so much brilliance and compassion.
Here’s a bit about the team’s effort in the news:
“The group received heartening messages from the affected people. “There was this man from the US who was able to assign a volunteer using our resources to rescue his pregnant wife,” says Vipin.“He even donated 1,000 dollars to the CM’s Distress Relief Fund as a token of gratitude.”
Shout outs and bows to this wonderful team–may they live long and well, and may I continue to have their friendship.
What beautiful instance of humanity have you seen lately, online or in real life? Have you seen people coming together to do good–where and when? What has your experience on twitter been like–have you seen more love or hate?
If you had a way of talking to team #KeralaFloodRescue , what would you say?
This post was the 16th installment of the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.
This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of September 28, 2018!