Volunteers helping during the Chennai rains (PTI)

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Though Chennai rains managed to disrupt life of the residents, several social media users came together to share useful information and many others went ahead to share accommodation, food and help in rescue. One such effort was the Google spreadsheet which was shared in a big way. Here are the people behind the spreadsheet, as per The News Minute.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sowmya Rao, a lawyer who is currently living in Delhi said that a person on Twitter with the handle @atlasdanced said that they should put out a Google spreadsheet on people who are willing to help. “I told him that I was happy to help. So, I started with the Google spreadsheet,” says Sowmya. The work on the spreadsheet began that night with details kept filling in. Soon more and more people started offering help and the information increased throughout the night. “At around 10.00 pm it moved from just being a shelter-offering, recharge-offering, mechanics-offering thing to see if we can coordinate rescue as well. We realized having Google forms for that made sense,” Rao said. They reached out to media houses and online forums and other people asking them to share the information too all.The link was taken up by Twitter India too leading to more people accessing it. On Wednesday, the group started working till 2.00 am to collate as much information together. At 2.45 am, Karthik Balakrishnan, a developer who works at Hasgeek, offered to build a website. Balakrishnan, along with a friend with US and Canada too worked all night and started the site. “The site is up and running and we are asking all authorities to look at the sheet. We have also got some volunteers now who are tracking the tweets and talking to 108. We are trying to pass on the information to them, so we can help them with tracking stranded people,” Sowmya added. Others behind the website are Shrinivas SG, a Chennai-ite from Gurgaon, Srinath Sripath, a Digital Marketing Manager working for the Tata Group living in Mumbai and Vishnu Prasad, a Chennaite working as a product consultant for Freshdesk.The site also has a rescue form and a volunteer form. People who want to help in rescue or volunteer in tasks such as cooking, driving for pickups, providing shelter etc can sign up on those sheets.

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