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How Social Media Won in 2015 – Part 2

In a world and species as disconnected as ours, there are very few places where unity exists, and the digital world is one of them. Social media is not the root of all evil, and these incidences where humanity rose out of online efforts, hence proves so.

When a girl being harassed on a train tweeted to the Railway Minister

The railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, has become a leading example of a public figure who takes social media seriously. He is known to provide help to travelers in every possible aspect, from wheelchairs to delivering food to hungry, stranded children. Read the previous article for the full story. This time, he received a tweet from a girl asking for help from the ministry. She reported someone misbehaving with her and passing objectionable comments, as she was alone. The ministry reacted immediately; arrested the accused and moved the girl safely. Harassment of women in public spaces is a huge obstacle in India, however, seeing some movement in the right direction gives us hope.

When online donations saved Friendicoes from shutting down

NGO Friendicoes is an animal shelter located in Delhi. Just when it seemed imminent that the non-profit organization would shut down, an online campaign turned its fate around. The campaign raised a startling 2 lakhs by mid-afternoon and in a couple of days over 150 people had contributed to raise over Rs. 5 lakhs. Even now online campaigns are on going to keep the NGO afloat.

Chennai rappers video catches Unilever’s attention

The residents of Kodakanal have spent years appealing to Unilever to clean up the toxic waste that was left behind from their thermometer factory. The plant that was set up in Kodaikanal had toxic mercury due to which many of its workers lived short lives. Not only that, after the plant had shut down, none of it was disposed off and cleant up correctly, leaving behind great amounts of toxic waste. The residents claim that they still face health issues due to this. When no action could be forced out of Unilever, Sofia Ashraf stepped in. Sofia is a Chennai based rapper, who created a video protest that went viral on the Internet. She rapped to the tune of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and Nicki herself was impressed. Unilever could no longer deny the allegations and stated that they would look into the matter and clean up the waste.

Feminism got a voice through #MyFirstPublicIndecency

In certain countries like ours (unfortunately), the women have somehow gotten used to public acts of indecency: peeing in public, getting groped and even getting masturbated at in public transport. Actually, nobody can really get used to something this grotesque; however, our society has somehow accepted it, as no action is seen against it. When 40 couples were charged with “public indecency” and picked up from various hotels around Madh Island, Mumbai, the uproar was literally felt through social media platforms. The protests were heard louder than ever before, as people began to question how two consenting adults in a private room became ‘public’ indecency. Questions were raised against the police department who were infringing upon personal rights. One of these protesters was comedian, Aditi Mittal, who shared her story of the first act of public indecency she had witnessed as a child. Many responded to her story and found the courage to share their story as well, starting the hashtag #MyFirstPublicIndecency. She had made her point and there was no denying that it was a strong one.

It is times like these and such stories that let us proudly announce that the new digital generation isn’t doomed. We may be lost in our phones and iPads most of the time, but we can also do this with them!

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