Skype Announces Free International Calls
Several companies have launched initiatives to help citizens in Chennai and Tamil Nadu, a region affected by heavy rains that have caused floods. Now, Skype has come forward and announced it is making all international calls to landlines and mobiles into Tamil Nadu free of charge for the next few days. The company however notes that the free calls don't include calls to special, premium service, and non-geographical numbers.
"In light of the devastating floods in Chennai - and the subsequent impact to the local communications infrastructure - with immediate effect we are making all international calls to landlines and mobiles into Tamil Nadu free of charge for the next few days. Since we don't know the full extent of the devastation, we want to help provide people with alternative methods of communication to reach friends and family in the region during this difficult time," said Microsoft-owned Skype in a blog post.
The other two major tech companies that launched resources to help with the relief efforts in Chennai include Google and Facebook. The two tech firms mobilised their crisis response modules to Chennai floods. Facebook activated its Safety Check feature for Chennai.
The country's telecom providers, Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Reliance Communications, and Aircel, are now aiding subscribers in the city with several initiatives.
Telecom providers are not the only ones that have extended helping hand for people in Chennai as there are a handful of startups and companies offering people help. Paytm is offering Rs. 30 worth of free talk-time to anyone who would like to remain connected. Practo has a spreadsheet with phone numbers of verified doctors and hospitals available for help in an online spreadsheet. Zomato has launched a scheme where they will provide meals for flood relief victims, and is offering to buy one meal from their end for every one purchased on the website.