The prolonged rain and flooding in Kerala have already resulted in a loss of more than 97 lives and the displacement of lakhs of people from their homes.
Known for its ‘twin seasons’ of rainfall, where both approaching and retreating rainclouds cause heavy rain in the State, Kerala is an idyllic spot in the monsoon season. Though the rainfall is often heavy and prolonged, the monsoon season is one of the State’s most pleasing ones.
But this year, the rainfall played havoc with Kerala. From the first week of August 2018, heavy rainfall lashed many parts of the State. Unrelenting rainfall combined with high tides and not enough avenues for the rainwater to drain itself resulted in severe flooding that submerged most areas. Entire homes were deluged, and people were forced to stand on their rooftops and desperately await rescue from helicopters.
The situation is still dire, with over 97 lives already lost to the floods and illnesses. While the Indian Navy has been battling to save as many lives as possible with heroic rescue operations, the major problems concerning the residents stranded in the affected areas is an outage of telephone and power lines.
In this scenario, leading mobile service providers like Airtel have stepped up to help those in distress.
- Airtel has announced free call and data services in this grim time, and also extended bill payment dates for those who are stranded and evacuated. It will be impossible to pay phone bills or do recharges during this time for DTH and prepaid phones, hence this facility.
- Postpaid, DTH, prepaid and broadband bill payments and recharges have been extended so that users get uninterrupted services even in this emergency.
- Meanwhile, network services have been strengthened further to provide always-on connectivity at all times.
- Adding more muscle to the relief and rescue efforts, V-SAT has been deployed at the 5 biggest relief centers in Kerala for free Wi-Fi and calling, which all users can arrive there and avail of.
- Airtel has also put in place an auto approval of talk time credit amounting to Rs 30 for all Airtel prepaid customers in Kerala during this time. Prepaid users in Kerala also get 1 GB data free for seven days.
- Customers can arrive at flagship Airtel stores in Calicut, Kannur, Kottayam, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Malappuram and Trivandrum.
- These relief measures are in operation for a period of seven days and may be extended later at Airtel’s discretion.