As Kerala faces its worst floods in decades, telecom companies are extending calling and data credit in the state, PTI reports. Airtel and Vodafone gave customers Rs 30 worth of calling credit per day for a week, while BSNL is offering twenty minutes of free calling every day. Idea is offering a third of the calling credit Vodafone did, at Rs 10. Telcos also gave users 1GB of data for the coming seven days, which is roughly in line with the average Indian user’s data consumption on the Vodafone network (4.6GB/month) (pdf). Jio is also offering unlimited calls and data for the week, and the company isn’t specifying a data limit in a message sent to customers.
This is similar to what telcos did during the 2015 South Indian floods — most established telcos gave users free data of around 100MB for a week.
Airtel and Idea have also extended the payment dates of postpaid mobile and broadband subscribers so that they do not lose connectivity, according to this Indian Express report. According to the same report, Idea has 12.4 million subscribers, Vodafone around 8 million, while Airtel and Jio have 5.02 million and 5.8 million in Kerala, respectively.
People can also visit Airtel stores in the state to make free calls.
Over a hundred lives have been claimed by the floods this year, caused by excessive monsoon rainfall. Over a thousand families have been moved to relief camps, and rescue efforts are being ramped up as the Prime Minister heads to the state to take stock of the damage.
Kerala Disaster Fund
The Kerala government’s Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund accepts online payments here. To pay by UPI, use the payment address
keralacmdrf@sbi. To pay by wire transfer or NEFT, click here and scroll down to see the Fund’s account details.