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Vodafone lowers costs in Nepal to help earthquake victims contact families

Following Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, Vodafone is playing its part by reducing calls costs so families can more readily contact each other amidst the chaos.

On Saturday a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit in Asia, causing massive amounts of damage across Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Tibet as well as kick starting an avalanche on Mount Everest. Collectively the death toll has reached over 2500 lives already and many more are still missing in the destruction.

In a bid to help grief-stricken family members establish contact loved-ones separated during the event and its subsequent aftershocks, Vodafone India, which operates across the affected region, has dropped the price of calls from Rs. 12 per minute to Rs. 1 per minute for the next few days.

The company released a statement explaining, “Vodafone India, in its efforts to support the local community and brothers of Nepal along with other disaster relief initiatives has announced that all calls made from its network from anywhere in India to Nepal will be charged as per local rate.” The statement continued, “This move will enable people to reach out to their friends and family members in the earthquake impacted areas.”

Presently the reduced rate is set return to its original pricing from 10 am on Tuesday the 28th of April, but with many lives still unaccounted for, here’s hoping Vodafone and other telecoms companies decide to extend the discounted rates whilst the search and the recovery continue.

On the other side of the world, Vodafone was recently one of the first telcos to involve itself in the reparation of the oceanic islands of Vanuatu, which had been devastated by the tropical storms of Cyclone Pam.

Members of the Vodafone Foundation travelled out to help local mobile carrier Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) by bringing VSATs; small ground units capable of transmitting phone calls and text messages via passing satellites. This same technology sounds like it would fit perfectly in the areas hit hardest by the earthquakes in Asia, restoring a communication infrastructure to the most severely damaged areas.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the earthquake in Nepal and if you want to help fund the aid work currently going on out there, PRI has collated a list of approved charities already on the ground in the disaster zone.

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