The Internet can be a strange place: It divides people, but it also brings strangers from across the world, together.
With 2019 coming to a close, let’s have a look at how the Internet came together during hard times and helped reinstate faith in humanity. There have been many instances where netizens rallied together and created something remarkably special. These are the times when you can’t thank the world of social media enough.
Ranu Mondal Rises to Fame
Let’s begin with the story of a woman who rose from the streets, all thanks to the power of social media.
A classic rags to riches story, Internet sensation Ranu Mondal's rise to fame started from a deserted railway station in Ranaghat, in West Bengal when she was captured singing the Bollywood classic, ‘Ek Pyaar ka Nagma Hai’ song.
Her video was shared by Atindra Bhattachaya on social media, and quickly went viral for her melodious rendition of the song.
Mondal eventually got invited to many reality shows in the glam world and in the process even had her first debut with Bollywood veteran singer and music composer Himesh Reshmaiya with the song ‘Teri Meri’.
Mahindra Offers an Internship
Anand Mahindra, who has a penchant for providing opportunities to young enthusiasts arising from the gamut of social media, recently devised a life-changing situation for a millionaire’s son.
A few months ago, the image of Dwarkesh Thakkar, the son of a Gujarat based oil-baron, washing dishes in Shimla, appeared on the internet and went viral. When Anand Mahindra stumbled upon this, he couldn’t help but step in and help out the 19-year-old boy.
Dwarkesh had run away from his home to escape his father’s shadow and to prove his own potential in the real world.
His viral image touched Mahindra enough to offer him an internship opportunity in his own company, and in a tweet he said, “Doing a Sunday catch-up on my reading. I admire this young man.. He wanted to strike out on his own. He may seem just like an eccentric runaway, but he could also be tomorrow’s successful,independent entrepreneur. I’d be happy to offer him an internship at @MahindraRise !”
Doing a Sunday catch-up on my reading. I admire this young man.. He wanted to strike out on his own. He may seem just like an eccentric runaway, but he could also be tomorrow’s successful,independent entrepreneur. I’d be happy to offer him an internship at @MahindraRise ! https://t.co/0QnFG0ZyDz — anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) November 10, 2019
The news of such an opportunity overwhelmed his father, along with thousands of netizens. It showed us how the Internet, with its vast capacity and unpredictability, can bring people closer to their aspirations.
Help's ‘Aadhar-verified’ Card Goes Viral
A domestic help realised that all you need is a photo to go viral for your life to turn around completely. Her life was transformed when her Aadhar-verified business card went viral.
Based out of Pune, she suddenly became everyone's dream employee within a span of 24-hours with the help of a business card designed by her owner that highlighted her key skills.
A picture of the card, posted by her housekeeper, Dhananshree Shinde, quickly gained interest; this led to Geeta Kamle, the house help, receiving a plethora of job offers.
Social Media during Cyclone Fani
Natural calamities always bear disastrous consequences and derail regular life. But social media has proved to be crucial in bringing people together to help victims and their families.
The instance of the Odisha's cyclone Fani that ravaged through the state earlier this year in May, saw social media coming together easing the rescue operations.
The cyclone, which left several densely populated areas devastated, had seen the ‘biggest evacuation of human history’ and undeniably social media had a significant role to play in it.
When the state was grappling with faulty network services and power shortages, a group of young boys had taken to Facebook to connect the flood victims to their families through social media.
The team, along with a coordinator at Delhi was getting families of the victims in touch with them. At times, they even went to the extent of gathering pictures of those residing outside Odisha and bringing them closer to their dear ones affected by the cyclone.
To add on to that were the efforts of the Odisha police, who along with the other authorities were successful in evacuating a crowd with as many as 12 lakh people in 24 hours with millions of text messages circulated to support their initiative.
A viral image of a female Odisha cop carrying people on a scooter also went viral. It was shared by the Odisha Police and helped in spreading the words of aid.
Facebook Reunites a Family
In recent news, a woman working as a domestic help was reunited with her family, after having being separated from them 12 years ago.
The girl, who hailed from Vijaywada was separated from her family at the age of four from Cheepurupalli in Vijayanagaram district.
Luck played a major factor in her case when the house owner said he always checks documents before he hires people and that's how he helped get Bhavni, a minor girl, in touch with her family through Facebook after going through her documents.
These prove, that although a year might go through turbulent times, the blessing of social media proved certain moments of the year are worth cherishing.
Let us move forward into the new decade with a hope, that even when times are dark, help can come from the unlikeliest of sources.