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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Needs You

As most of the readers would already know, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, leaving behind what could perhaps go down as the one of the biggest natural disaster and humanitarian crises in recent history. But  before proceeding further, i should also mention that since i had been traveling the whole week and facing major connectivity issues, i wasn't very aware of the magnitude of the disaster until a couple of days back. However, this fact does not in any way, dilute my sentiments towards the victims or the disaster. In fact, a very few people can, IMHO, relate to the pain and suffering of the victims than those of us who have faced the super-cyclone that devastated Odisha (then Orissa) in 1999. It has been more than 10 years now, and i have still not been able to find words to express the experience. In nutshell, it was a nightmare..those of us who survived were mainly because we were relatively better off economically, socio-politically. Neither the government nor the media were able to capture the extent of damage.

Anyway, coming back to Haiti, the visuals,news reports coming in are more than just nightmarish! Haiti has has been devastated and its likely to take a lot of time and effort to get the Caribbean nation back on its feet. On the brighter side, this epic disaster has also shown how useful social media can be, in responding to major catastrophes as quickly as possible. Twitter in particular has not only been the main source of  getting the getting news and images from the ravaged country, it is also helping in coordinating rescue teams.  

If the sight of such human suffering depresses us, it is also heartening to find people all over the world extending their hands for the rehabilitation of the quake victims. Google has pledged $1 million for relief work and has also put up a special page, Google Crisis Response page with links and information on how you can do your own bit. You can Donate via Google Checkout or you can find links to donate to organizations like UNICEF , Care, Red Cross ,
Doctors Without Borders , Habitat for Humanity  and other organizations working to help the victim rebuild their lives and communities.

Mashable has put up a list of trusted organizations that you could donate to without having the nagging doubt if your money did reach the victims. However, if you wish to do more or feel you cant donate enough, there are ways you could help directly. For instance, you could Help map Haiti or help find missing people through Person Finder: Haiti Earthquake  or help identify missing people by comparing and matching photos. Let me assure you, you dont have to spend more time or resources than most of us already do in Farmville or Mafia Wars but the difference we could make is huge.