Chennai rains saw the emergence of unexpected saviors in the form of business startups. Extremely heavy rains in Chennai during the month of November led to flooding across the city. At a time when Tamil Nadu’s capital was left paralyzed due to multiple thunderstorms and severe inundation, a few business startups rose to the occasion and delivered.
It all started with Ola sending out #OlaBoat in different directions during Chennai rains. These boats are manned by two rowers and can carry five to nine people in a single trip. In addition to this, Ola has also provided raincoats and umbrellas, for rowers as well as passengers. The team is also ferrying food and water to trapped residents and they’re doing it all free of charge.
OYO Rooms too responded to requests from stranded citizens during Chennai rains and is providing special discounts at various OYOs in the city. Rooms start from Rs. 799 and can be availed on a single, double, and triple-sharing basis. The idea is to provide affordable accommodation in order to eliminate the need to travel until water levels recede.
UrbanClap isn’t far behind and is helping with damage control. Submerged areas and receding flood waters can lead to unhygienic conditions fueled by pest outbreak, disease outbursts, and more. UrbanClap has organized free pest control camps at three different locations during Chennai rains. This commendable effort will help bring down chances of a dengue, malaria, or chikungunya epidemic.
The initiatives taken by all these startups take us back to the Nepal earthquake in April this year. During that time too, Indian startups such as PayTm, ShopClues, IdeaForge, Curofy, and Ola had contributed towards rescue and relief operations in their own way. A similar trend can be seen developing during Chennai rains as well.
It would be unfair to categorize such efforts as just corporate social-responsibility campaigns or opportunistic marketing. The idea is to make a difference and provide effective solutions on the ground. If you ask the people of Chennai, these startups have emerged as unlikely heroes for most of them. Hopefully, more startups will line-up in near future, and help Chennai get back on its feet.
(Featured Image Credit: forbes.com)