Offers of help pour in for those stuck in the rain

Indians wade through a flooded street during heavy rain showers in Mumbai on Aug 29, 2017.
Indians wade through a flooded street during heavy rain showers in Mumbai on Aug 29, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI • Within hours of the downpour, people in flooded Mumbai started offering help to those stuck in the rain via Twitter and Facebook, using hashtags such as #RainHosts, Indian media reported.

On offer were food, shelter, clean clothes, Wi-Fi and even Netflix. "Stuck in Andheri East, Lower Parel, Turbhe? We've got shelter & wifi" was one offer of help on Twitter.

Cabs suspended peak pricing and Ola Share rides - a cab-sharing service - were free.

But it was still hard to get a taxi, technical trainer and beautician Mallika Singh told The Indian Express.

"I was stuck at Charni Road station for three hours and had nowhere to go when the train services stopped. Taxis, too, were not plying," she said.

But she got help on Facebook and Twitter and found shelter by walking to the house of businessman Nitin Thakur.

Mr Thakur said his niece found out about Ms Singh on Facebook and asked him for help. "I made the arrangements," he said, adding that he has advised Ms Singh to stay on until the rain subsides.

Indian media reported that restaurants, schools and community halls, too, have opened their doors to those stranded by the downpour.

"The Bombay Canteen is accommodating guests with hot tea and coffee, but the kitchen is closed," said restaurant partner Yash Bhanage. The restaurant also tweeted that those needing shelter were welcome for a cup of tea.

Some tried to see the funny side of the situation. Comedian Sorabh Pant wrote on Twitter: "Deleted all the games from my phone. The real game during the #MumbaiRains is getting an Ola or Uber."

The Hindustan reported that some people were sharing stories of how the 2005 rains that ravaged Mumbai had led to happy-ever-afters.

Twitter user Dhanya Rajendran‏wrote: "I know a story from Mumbai rains 2005. A friend was stranded, someone gave her shelter. Another man too was there. They are married now."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'Offers of help pour in for those stuck in the rain'. Print Edition | Subscribe