This Article is From Dec 08, 2015

Freaked Out After Losing Home for First Time: Actor Siddharth to NDTV

Social media has been both a boon and a bane, actor Siddharth told NDTV.

Chennai: The floods in Tamil Nadu were of "epic proportions" and he had reached out on behalf of the less fortunate on Twitter as he had "freaked out" after losing his home "for the first time in life," actor Siddharth told NDTV in an interview today.

"I freaked out that I had lost my house for the first time... three studios, three cars... And then I felt bad for the middle class who lost so much in just one day," said the actor, who said he has not been home in the last six days. The water in his home, he said, is just being drained out and the power was back only last evening.

The silver lining was that this was the first time when during a natural calamity, there has been "more volunteers than victims", owing to the tremendous response generated by the social media - a trend seen since the floods in Jammu and Kashmir last year.  

But while the social media has been a boon when it came to relief efforts, it has also been a bane, said the actor, who made an extensive tour of 15 villages in the flood-hit region of Cuddalore district on Monday.

The information on social media, he said, was often recirculated and therefore, fell behind the times. Giving an example, he said, "While today, one might send a message saying 5000 bottles of water is needed, the message will be there six days later, when one needs not water, but dustbins to dispose of the bottles."

Talking of the relief efforts in Cuddalore, he said the situation was bad, but not as bad as the social media made it out to be.

The need of the hour was not big containers of relief material like food - which are bound to get stolen on highway by the "greedy" not the "needy" - but of bedding, blankets and shelter.

In the long term, what the people would need is livelihood, a means of setting up the homes they have lost, he said.

Asked about the criticism the Tamil Nadu government faced on its handling of the flood, he said he not seen any problem "personally" with the way the administration has worked.

"I am neither pro or against any government. This is a huge calamity of epic proportions. I don't think any state government could have rocked and made everything go away easily in 5 days," said Siddharth. "India works on chaos theory...  it is run by human will, not necessarily by administration."

He also refused to get dragged into the controversy surrounding actor Kamal Haasan's statements on "collapse of the system" and added the Tamil film industry members did reach out in their own way.