Guwahati: “Assam is drowning and all the national media cares about is what Amitabh Bachchan is having for breakfast,” says 23-year-old Bhavana Barman. The Master’s degree student from Dibrugarh University in Assam has raised over Rs 5 lakh for Assam flood relief using her ‘BTS Army‘ fanbase and friends alike.
“It all happened within just two days. At first, we created a private group chat day before yesterday [Wednesday]. We planned everything in that group chat. We verified the links, created the Milaap link and DM-d people,” she added. This group of people called in BTS fans from across the state, nation and abroad to help save the state from the devastation of Assam floods.
Even though she had been an avid BTS fan for three years now, she never thought that the Milaap link would generate over Rs 1 lakh for flood relief in just 10 hours. Such is the power of the BTS fan base, said an elated Barman. “A Canada based BTS Army member even reached out and donated Canadian $3,000 just yesterday,” she added.
BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band who began in 2010 and debuted in 2013. Originally a hip hop group, their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres and has a massive fan following worldwide.
Army, which is their fanbase, stands for Adorable Representatives of MC Youth.
What was more surprising was the Milaap link crashed on Friday as it generated a total sum of Rs 5,02,492. Using the power of social media, these group of BTS fans gathered a substantial amount of funding for the flood crisis in Assam which already claimed the lives of 68 people so far.
“The money generated will be given to the NGO People for People that have been on the ground organising and helping the people affected in flood,” said Barman. A member of the NGO Kukilkalyani Borgohain, who is also a BTS fan, became the liaison between the funds generated under the BTS Army and the NGO.
“Today, we formed an account both on Instagram and Twitter called ‘BTSARMYhelpsindia‘ so that we can help more people in the future. All the people in the original group are its members,” Barman added.