04 July 2013

Social Media Makes a Difference: Rs 18 Cr Raised for Uttarakhand Relief Fund

The most recent tragic incident caused by the flood in the temple town of Uttarakhand has left everyone in awe. The so called ‘Himalayan tsunami’ not only took away the lives of many people in and around the area but has also left people with no basics like food, clothing and shelter. It will take ages to restore this town which is totally destructed.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and in this case the contributions in many forms are flowing in from different parts of the country, especially from online platforms like social networking sites. The word spread through social media reaches more number of people in a short period of time and will help the locals return to their normal lives sooner, reported Sunetra Choudhury for NDTV.

In the last one week, the Prime Minister's Relief Fund has already obtained an extraordinary sum of almost 18 crore from all parts of India which in a way is an indication that the citizens of the country are indeed shaken and stunned by this heart breaking event.

Officials are expecting that the amount collected might be much higher than the 2010 Leh floods, which had collected 156 crore in three months. This time the facility of online payments that has been introduced is indeed a faster mode.

Already 3.57 crore has been derived from the websites pmindia.gov where 10,264 people have logged on to make their shares of contribution. An additional 7.2 crore was collected from unknown people whose numbers and identities are not available and there are no means either to track them.

It is still doubtful whether 18 crore is a huge amount to get from a country with 1.2 billion population and where some of them with considerable disposable incomes.

The officials proclaimed, "This time the government has promoted the idea of giving on social media and it has certainly made a difference," reported NDTV.

However, among all the dilemma whether enough contribution will be obtained or not, many fraudsters have come up with fake links with images and videos that are circulated online requesting and also encouraging masses to donate funds for flood relief.

To avoid such deceiving groups, the government has put up some genuine sites and bank accounts to deposit the amount for donations. Some of them include The Prime Minister’s national relief fund with a facility of net banking too.

So far many government departments like the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and Public Sector Undertakings like Coal India have assured their one day salaries for the relief contribution. Also most of the MPs and MLAs have donated from their MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds. ASSOCHAM, a corporate group has also contributed 2 crore

The government is encouraging people to donate smaller amounts too. In the days to come, the SMS system where one can pledge 10 rupees per message will be introduced.