I, Vivek Sen was a famous journalist with the Navyug Times based in Delhi. With the advent of social networks and other social media sites, I had become sufficiently active on Twitter to catch up on any latest piece of news.
During the Mumbai floods, I was assigned to look into Twitter to see what people were talking about. I somehow saw this entire campaign handled by Akshita Rane and two other people. This had to be a front page story for our newspapers.
@akshitarane we would like to know the details of the campaign you ran on Twitter for inviting donations for people affected by the floods
Akshita immediately replied back to official Navyug Times account (@navyug07) on Twitter.
@navyug07 why? What do you want to know?
@akshitarane we want the world to know the power of Twitter and how people are utilizing it..We have mailed you the details..Would it be ok?
@navyug07 ok that would be great
After a face – to – face discussion with Akshita, I published a report on the front page of Navyug Times on November 7th 2009.
Akshita Rane creating a sensation on Twitter
She’s hot and happening!
She’s as melodious as anyone could be!
Akshita Rane, one of the most popular Bollywood singers of our times already has many awards and songs to her credit. Now she’s creating a sensation on Twitter like never before.
For the uninitiated, Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites where one can send status updates of 140 characters. Most of our stars today are using it for branding and marketing themselves. But Akshita seems to have done much more than that.
She has gone ahead and made a sort of ‘friend circle’ on Twitter with a 55 year old woman, Lata Prabhakar, a resident of Bangalore and Ronnie Dsouza, a 22 year student from Hyderabad.
I am sure you readers must be wondering as to how did this happen? To know more, we posed this question to her.
“Twitter is one of the most amazing online communication mediums I have ever used. Initially I was also using it just to brand and market myself. But Lata and Ronnie made me realise that at the end of the day we are also humans. And we just connected. Rest as they say is history.”
Interesting words from a star who at one time had seemed completely unapproachable. The saying “Times and circumstances do change people” holds so true for this situation.
And this is not all, the three of them recently organized a campaign on Twitter to mobilize people to donate willingly for those affected by the Mumbai floods. Contacting over 1,50,000 people to get donations worth Rs 40 lacs doesn’t seem to be a mean achievement any day.
Only time will tell as to how long this human side of Akshita Rane would stay in the public domain. What do you think of this? Do write to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Akshita immediately tweeted about the article to both Lata and Ronnie.
@lata55 @dummyknights guys! Did you check out the front page of navyug times today?
It was Sunday, November 8th, 2009 and Lata was really busy as she had to go out shopping to the nearby mall for household items. But Ronnie replied immediately.
@akshitarane yeah interesting article..we are becoming famous because of you for sure..
@dummyknights hahaha..that was a good one..
Later in the evening, Akshita got to know of a bomb blast in a mall in Bangalore which killed 150 people and injured many. Fearing the worst, she dialled all the helplines possible and finally did get to know the TRUTH.
After hearing the news, she didn’t know what to do and whom to talk to. Finally she ended up sending a tweet to Ronnie.
@dummyknights it feels as if I have lost a part of myself..It feels as if I knew her forever and ever..I am shocked
@akshitarane the way we connected on twitter it didn’t seem that we never knew each other..
@dummyknights i miss her as much as I would anyone in the real world..You guys made the human come out of the star in me..
@akshitarane I wish we could do something for her to honour her memory..
@dummyknights what do you think of organizing a concert in the memory of the victims of the terror attack?
@akshitarane don’t you think that would be monetizing the whole situation?
@dummyknights no! no! The money generated would go to the victims’ families and those affected in any way
After Ronnie’s initial reservations, he was ready to help in organizing the concert and mobilizing opinion among the people via Twitter.
@akshitarane then I am all for it..We can make people aware of this via twitter..What say?
@dummyknights yeah that would be amazing..let’s get going..
Mobilizing opinion among people on Twitter to honour the victims of the terror attack and also the Bollywood industry was a really tough proposition. There were questions ranging from the need of doing this to the financial proposition of this initiative.
Finally on 1st December 2009, the biggest music concert in India was organized at Bangalore in the memory of the victims of terror attack. Akshita managed a coup by inviting the who’s who of the industry.
50,000 people with more than 50 lacs generated through this initiative – the concert was able to reach legendary status.
Akshita and Ronnie were shocked out of their daylights seeing a tweet from @lata55 the next day at 10:22pm.
“The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive – perhaps for some purpose.”