To help flood victims in Northeast, telecom major Vodafone today said it is offering a 50-minute free talk-time to its customers to contact anyone in case of emergencies. "With monsoons in full force in Northeast, many areas are flood affected. To help people, we are offering 50 minutes free talk-time to all our customers in the affected areas in the region," Vodafone India Business Head (Assam & Northeast) Nidhi Lauria said.
The one-time service is being offered in affected regions like Kamrup, Karimganj and Bongaigaon in Assam, Ukhrool and Bishnupur in Manipur, and in North Tripura at present, she added. "This service will continue till the end of monsoon season. The areas are expanding to cover more people as and when required," Lauria said, adding around 15,000 people have been covered under the scheme so far.
The company said the free talk-time offer depends on cell site data of flood affected regions and applies only to local calls. The official further said that in association with Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), Vodafone is sending out constant SMS alerts on flood situation and precautions that one needs to take. "We are keeping a close watch on flood situation so that we can help our esteemed customers in every possible way. We will also take measures to take care of citizens health safety and well being," Lauria added.
Vodafone began its services in Northeast in 2008 and covers over 19,800 towns and villages across the region. According to ASDMA, 18 persons have lost their lives in Assam so far in this years flood and nearly four lakh are affected at present in the state. Many Northeastern states are hit by flash flood, landslide and other rain related natural calamities and many people have died in these incidents.