Telecom operator Aircel has opened up its network to users of all telecom operators in Jammu and Kashmir, for a period of two days. The company is also setting up mobile charging units and calling boots to allow stranded flood victims make calls to their homes/friends and families, and calls for all its postpaid and prepaid customers from Jammu & Kashmir are free for the next two days: 10th and 11th of September 2014. The company says it is working together with the local administration and the Army to restore 2G network in the city and to ensure no outages reoccur on their 3G network, which is presently up and running in Srinagar. Apart from this, the company is also stocking up relief material like medicines, water, non-perishable food items at their offices.

Opening up the network to help provide any sort of connectivity in this time of need is laudable. Bharti Airtel has also told the BSE that while company’s network has been down in some parts of Jammu & Kashmir, its teams have been able to manage to revive several parts of the network there. It is “constantly monitoring the situation and is working with the authorities to normalize the services in the affected areas at the earliest possible.”

Twitter sets up automated SOS helpline

This has been powered by social curation firm Frrole. You can track the hashtag KashmirFloods for details of relief efforts, need for help, photos from flood affected areas etc.

Google sets up Person Finder

Google has launched a Person Finder, here.

Need for a disaster protocol?

Perhaps there needs to be a disaster protocol set up, wherein, in such circumstances, all telecom operators can allow customers access to networks irrespective of their service provider. A single number for disaster relief could be set up across networks as well. Track the Indian Army’s relief efforts here.

Help out

  • You can contribute to the Prime Minster’s National Relief Fund here.
  • More details on donations being collected, with city-wise collection centers, are here.

Corrigendum: This was published with an incorrect headline, stating that Airtel has opened up its network. Our apologies: it is Aircel that has opened up its network.