Chennai

More doors open for rain-hit residents

Many residents volunteered to keep their homes open for the flood-affected.— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Many residents volunteered to keep their homes open for the flood-affected.— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan  

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A post on Facebook offering accommodation for ‘the homeless’ gets over 3,300 shares

While the city is slowly recovering from the deluge caused by the rain and the subsequent breaching of lakes, many citizens are lending a helping hand to those in distress.

Seeing women and children on the streets during a drive down the roads at the time of the rain prompted Mohamed Yunus, a resident of Nungambakkam, who runs an e-commerce start-up, to offer two of his vacant apartments to persons stranded owing to the floods.

His post on Facebook got over 3,300 shares. “What was surprising is that the persons who ultimately came to stay in my vacant apartment were not on Facebook, but were informed by friends of theirs who had seen my post. I was glad to offer space to people who needed it and it was encouraging to see that after my post was shared numerous times, many people came forward to offer their homes for people to stay as well, which was my aim,” he said. Six women employed in a BPO company, whose PG accommodation in Villivakkam was flooded, stayed in the vacant apartment till Thursday.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, Sinish Sreedharan, a resident of Royapettah, offered to accommodate around five people at his house as well. “However, no one got in touch with me and it was understandable since people who are stranded find it tough to have Internet access. I hope that in the future, I am able to offer my home to people who are in need through mutual friends who can put them across to me,” he said.

Opening up of their homes for people in need by many Chennaiites is reminiscent of the ‘Porte Ouverte’ hashtag that was used by thousands of Parisians in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks stating that they were welcoming people who were stranded after the attacks. S. Anitha, a software engineer from Hyderabad who works in an IT company here, said a common forum dedicated to those willing to offer their homes during a natural calamity would be a good initiative.

OYO rooms, a network of branded hotel rooms, too offered special discounts for stranded residents across 15 locations after persons from the city tweeted to them about the need for affordable accommodation.

(With additional reporting by

Gayathree Ganesan

and Megha Varier)

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:53:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/more-doors-open-for-rainhit-residents/article7907242.ece

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