Keralarescue.in - the state government’s official rescue website was set up in the aftermath of the devastating floods that battered the state. However, the backbone behind the creation of this website are about 1,500 volunteer IT professionals from around the world, as per a report by Regina Mihindukulasuriya in The Print.
Vignesh Hari, an engineering student and a volunteer told the publication that the worldwide team of professionals took nearly 96 man-hours to develop the website on GitHub, which is a crowdsourcing software development platform.
“Around 69 volunteer software developers contributed to the master (main) design of keralarescue.in. However, there were hundreds of other developers who contributed to the fringe elements of the website,” said Vignesh.
Vignesh is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - the world’s largest technical professional society. The Kerala chapter of IEEE is one of the main driving forces behind the website.
Earlier, explaining the purpose behind the site, Muraleedharan Manningal, head of the State e-Governance Mission Team for Kerala had told TNM: “It is to connect people, to get requests from various locations, get a list of volunteers, and to supply the requirements. The requirements keep changing continuously. We have our points of contact in every district.”
The website is available in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu besides many international languages.
Vignesh added that the website has received over 1 crore requests for aid and rescue. Stating that the developers work in shifts, he said that the US-based developers would take over at night while core developers from Kerala and Chennai, Bengaluru would operate during morning hours.
Another volunteer IT professional said that people from the US to Singapore helped to make sure the website was active and running for all 24 hours of the day, while adding that the IT servers received heavy traffic but they were able to withstand it and crashed only twice during the entire time.
On the website, one can request for help and get information on relief camps, district collection centres, latest announcements, get access to maps, as well as contribute.