After three bombs ripped through Mumbai last evening, the people of the city (and some parts of the rest of the country) came together to help each other out almost impeccably. Twitter and Facebook updates were filled with users posting not only information for helplines but also offering help. Hashtags for #needhelp and #Here2Help were created. Users that were at home offered shelter to other users that were still commuting.
The man behind the spreadsheet
Beyond Twitter, a Google spreadsheet was created by a Twitter user in Delhi, Nitin Sagar. The spreadsheet contains information of Mumbai and non-Mumbai residents offering help as well as asking for help with their contact information and the nature of help that can be offered or is needed. There are currently 250 entries, most of which are users offering help. A map of live tweets can also be found on Google Maps. This doesn't seem to be updated in real time, however, it can be used to find users in the areas of the blasts.
It really is impressive to see citizens coming together to help each other out. Even though, sometimes, this method of coming together can really only help those who even have access to technology at the time (and the government blocked off cell phones for an hour after the blasts), there are concrete examples of citizens who have been helped just by responding to offers on Twitter and the Google doc.