Lockdown triggers flurry of SOS messages on KTR’s Twitter page

One of the messages on IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao’s Twitter page and his response to it.

One of the messages on IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao’s Twitter page and his response to it.  

Minister gets his team to respond to and act on each request for help

Several requests for help popped up on Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao’s Twitter page minutes after Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 21-day complete lockdown on Tuesday.

The appeals ranged from arranging transport to visit scanning centres and dialysis centres, transporting a body to Kerala, bringing back TS students stranded in Vizianagaram and even helping with a wedding ceremony scheduled for April 10.

Flooded with messages

The first plea came at 8.18 p.m. minutes after the Prime Minister began speaking about the lockdown. The requests for help and an occasional offer of help kept on pouring in till late in the night. Mr. Rao kept answering them, bringing his official team into play.

“I am a resident of Arvind Nagar colony, Hyderabad. I am 9 months pregnant and ED is 28 April plus minus 3 days. Doctor suggested weekly checkups. Now cabs not available and we don’t have a 4-wheeler to visit hospital. pls help (sic),” tweeted Nidhi Mishra.

“My uncle passed away yesterday and his body is kept in mortuary at Gandhi Hospital. His home and family is in Thodupuzha, near Cochin, Kerala. Would you please assist in allowing the ambulance carrying his body to travel to Kerala. Whom should I contact?” tweeted Gopi.

Within a few minutes, the Tweeple had a response and the staff of Mr. Rama Rao got in touch with the people who put out a message. “The Minister has a support staff that does the back-end work. The request for aid or grievance is shared on an internal messaging group and tracked on a spreadsheet as this is a temporary problem. Then officers contact the person making the request,” informed Dileep Konatham of Telangana government.

Local passes

“Right now we are getting requests for medical emergencies or healthcare issues where officials interact with the local police stations for arranging a local pass,” added Mr. Konatham.

For people who are stranded and want to go back home due to closure of hostels or boarding facility, Mr. Konatham said they are liaising with hostel officials to keep them functioning. “The very purpose of lockdown will be defeated if all the people travel back and forth,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:24:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/lockdown-triggers-flurry-of-sos-messages-on-ktrs-twitter-page/article31167363.ece

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