One of the most serious problems in the wake of any tragedy is matching those wanting to help with those in need. Whereas it can sometimes take days for government and NGOs to pull those threads together, one enterprising techie made this happen in a matter of minutes.
Once again Mumbai, India’s commercial and technology hub, has been hit a large, coordinated terrorist attack. Whereas the city was much better prepared for an attack this around, help for those affected is coming from an unexpected source.
CNN writes how Nitin Sagar — a 26-year-old working in a New Dehli office — matched tweets coming from people wanting to help with the victims using a Google Doc spreadsheet.
“Someone in Bombay please create a Google Doc with numbers/addresses of people willing to help,” he posted on Twitter, using the old name for Mumbai. However, rather waiting for “someone” to do the job, Sagar made and posted one himself just before we walked out the door to go home.
“Have compiled numbers and areas where help is available from the time,” he tweeted. “Add and share please.”
By the time he got home a half hour later, hundreds of people wanting to donate blood, provide shelter, provide transport or help in some other way had added their names and information to the spreadsheet. Sagar says thousands have accessed the spreadsheet and it’s still growing.
A friend in need…
What’s the practical upshot of this good deed? No one, including Sagar, has a way of measuring success — donors meeting victims — but the simple fact that hundreds and perhaps thousands of them were talking to each other within hours of the tragedy has to be seen as a good thing…
What’s your take?