Funding for a cause
"As of now, what's the status in Chennai?"
Someone would post and
"Yeah dude! Its still raining."
Someone would reply in a comment.
"wats happening there? do you need volunteers?"
"Yes we need sm 15 people to go to Mudichur area. sm1 interested? We have lots f things to provide lik rice, dresses, bedsheets"
"Yes, my friend is there. i ll ask him to ping u n a few mnutes wit sm area guys."
The first is the situation in Facebook groups and the second is a depiction of conversation in Whatsapp groups and chats.
Chennai Rising- named someone.
Its TN. Even Cuddalore and other districts have to be considered said someone else.
The range of help Chennai has provided to itself can never be depicted in words. The integrity and love felt by every human soul in and around the city and how it helped other districts in TN should have touched infinity by now. The people from Karnataka, Kerala and other states and even from abroad, who collected funds for the people in one way or the other and risked themselves to make sure it reached the right people were remarkable. Many people who left Chennai during the first stages of rain (first week of December), has expressed their guilt for not being able to participate actively in the rescue and volunteering operations. The problem lies here.
The fact that the help is pouring from everywhere is true. And the fact that you might be lead down by some false requests and your money or things might get wasted on that is also equally true. Funding for a cause is not a bad idea at all. Actually it’s the best thing you can do. But, to whom you are giving and how authenticated their information are, is under question when you are at a long distance and if you cannot verify the data provided by them, then it’s not worth spending time on. It will not reach any people for sure.
I just want to mention here, how I came across the real volunteers near my place.
I started a group called Help Chennai! in Whatsapp on Dec 3. I added all my friends from schooling to college to workplace. Those people in that group had no idea who the hell the other one was. But still they all remained together. May messages were shared regarding the weather, immediate need of things at various places and need for volunteers and works of volunteers in badly affected areas. I wanted to donate things, but had no idea how to find out the rescue camps or volunteers. That is when my friend Aravind (College mate) came to my rescue. He referred his friend- Santhosh, who had already collected and given relief materials through Collector office for Kanchipuram district. Even before this I had been given names of volunteers, but I did not go for it because I did not have any sorts of verified or authenticated messages. Here was this boy from Kanchipuram, who was a close friend of my good friend. So why would I not consider this? I did. He messaged me, calling me Akka. There was this conversation about his volunteer group’s next day visit to Chennai and then we ended it saying the things would be collected by tomorrow.
To say frankly, I am not a person who believes anything until it happens. So, even after this conversation and even after I felt comfortable with this bro, I did not prepare my bag for them to collect.
The next day morning my friend called me to inform about the where-abouts of his friend. I thought Santhosh would come and collect from me. Then, I had been messaged by two other people from Santhosh's group at 9’o clock. Then there was no communication. All the networks went dead and I thought like they would never reach me. Now I had made my bag with some of my dresses and shawls and bags from other houses were getting into my home to be given to the people in relief camps. I got excited and panicked at the same time. What if these people could not turn up?
The only good thing that was positive at that time was that I had given my address to all the volunteers I came in touch with in Whatsapp. Then suddenly when I returned from the other flat collecting things, I saw two of the people standing there with the bags from my home. So finally they were there. I didn’t even have the time to learn about their residence and all that. It was my father who told me about where they were from. I could get their name. That is all I could get. Later learnt they were from the next street. I was informed about where the materials would be delivered and to whom. After which another friend of mine-Roshan, who lives near my place came to deliver things like cups, tracks for men and the same above mentioned things happened again the next day. These volunteer boys made a point that they worked in shifts. I was astonished by their commitment and organisation even in the heavy rain.
I have to thank Aravind, Santhosh from Kanchipuram, Mary and Shaym and their friends from Adambakkam and to people in their group and my group who listened and did whatever they could. Thanks to my neighbors, who donated even their new dresses and blankets and beds.
I am proud I have been a part of it. I will be a part of it in the future too, for this doesn't mark the end. We are just a dust. The rest, Chennai knows, sorry Tamil Nadu knows.
If you want to contribute make sure it's a trusted end and it reaches the right people.
Fund for a cause.
But, make sure you go with/to the right set of people.