Email claims that recipients can help victims of a devastating flood in Bihar India by participating in a short online quiz.
Subject: help Bihar Flood Victims……
Just came across a site to help Bihar Flood victims. Shows how one can contribute without actually spending anything or being physically present by spending 60 seconds of one’s time. Just have to answer simple questions, and sponsors will pay to the NGO on your behalf. Kindly spread the word.
Please visit www.helpbihar.in and answer 4 simple questions. Correct answers are:
3. 25 Lakh People
For each correct answer you give, Chevrolet will donate candles and biscuits and godrej will donate soaps.
Your 30 seconds may lighten-up someone’s eyes. Please forward this to as many people you can.
This message claims that the recipient can help victims of recent flooding in the Indian state of Bihar simply by following a link and answering questions in a brief online quiz. Given the number of hoaxes and scam emails that flood our inboxes, some recipients are understandably cautious of the message and have questioned its veracity. However, in this case, the claims in the message are factual. An article in The Economic Times notes:
It’s an online quiz in which you face the questions but the real winners are Bihar’s flood-hit people. For every right answer, they get candles, biscuits, tarpaulin sheets and more – items that could prove crucial to their survival.
Plan India, a Delhi-based development organisation, has started the online campaign in which net users can log on to a website and answer four simple questions – the name of Bihar’s capital, the river that has flooded the state, the estimated number of flood-affected people and the opposite of the word flood.
The articles donated are funded by corporate sponsors who are in turn mentioned on the site. Thus, sponsors receive valuable publicity for their brands in exchange for their financial support.
Plan India is a trusted and well established organization that focuses on improving the lot of Indian children. Information on the Plan India website notes:
Plan India is a Child-Centred Development organisation that aims to promote Child Rights and improve the quality of life of vulnerable children. Plan works in 13 states in India and has directly impacted lives of over a million children and their families since 1979.
Plan India is a part of Plan International, founded in 1937 after the Spanish Civil War and currently works in 68 countries.
Other organizations have successfully used similar tactics to raise revenue for worthy causes. The FreeRice website donates a specified amount of rice to the hungry for every correct answer supplied in an online vocabulary test. The donated rice is payed for by the sponsors whose names appear on pages of the website. The Hunger Site helps to feed the hungry by passing on money payed by sponsors who are given advertising space on the site. Visitors can click a button on the site to give free food. After clicking, the visitor is presented with a page containing ads from the site’s sponsors.
Last updated: 1st October 2008
First published: 1st October 2008
By Brett M. Christensen