The world seems to be a dark place right now with social, military and climatic unrest around the world. 

Be it here in India with people continuing to protest against the discriminatory CAA and NRC even after police brutality, government pressure and more, or you take the current situation between US and Iran.

Australia is experiencing its own crisis at the moment with the bush fires running rampant in Australian forests and not only destroying several acres of forest land but also killing hundreds of animals and people. 

Bushfires were initially used by indigenous Australians to clear up a path for easier navigation through dense vegetation or to hunt. However, most of them were done at a very small scale and usually during the high rainfall season. The food made on land after a bushfire was said to be high in proteins for the nomadic tribes. 

But recently, the bushfires that result in deadly damage to life and land are said to occur during droughts and heat waves. Australia has seen a lot of them since 1851 but the current ones are said to be some of the worst bushfires in history. 

The Current Ongoing Australian Bushfires

These fires have been existing since September 2019 and till around 5th January 2020 have resulted in:

  • destruction of 16 million acres/63,000 square kilometers of land 
  • 2,500 buildings destroyed
  • 28 people missing
  • death of 25 people
  • reportedly half a billion animals getting affected by the fires.

Various areas in Australia like New South Wales, East Gippsland and more have declared a state of emergency or disaster due to these fires. 

The authorities are asking people to evacuate their homes and several areas of the country have recorded air quality measurements 20 times above the hazardous level.

The Australian government has already stated that they would be sending in military support, along with that as per a BBC report around 3,000 firefighters are on ground fighting the fire. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service also have 70,000 members doing unpaid work to help and protect the community. 

Australia’s iconic animal, the koala, along with many other native flora and fauna are in danger currently. Ecologists from the University of Sydney have apparently stated that around 480 million or more animals could have died in the fires which is said to include more than 8,000 koalas. 

What Are People Doing To Help?

The Australian people have been pleading on social media for weeks now for the international community to send help. 

In all this, a very interesting news came forward when a social media influencer, Kaylen Ward, managed to raise over $700,000 in just 3 days as donation towards the fires. 

The way she did this was quite unconventional and even unorthodox, since she offered nude photos of herself in exchange for people to donate to wildfire relief funds. 

On 3rd January 2020, she tweeted out “I’m sending nudes to every person who donates atleast $10 to any one of these fundraisers for the wildfires in Australia. Every $10 you donate = one nude picture from me to your DM. You must send me confirmation that you donated. Please RT #AustraliaOnFire #AustraliaFires”

She attached a screenshot of various relief funds with their links where people could donate. 

Going by the username of “The Naked Philanthropist,” the 20-year-old Los Angeles model said that, “I was expecting to raise maybe $1,000 but the tweet blew up.” 

It has gone so viral that Ward has had to hire four staff people who will be helping her go through all the direct messages and proof of donation to make sure they are authentic and then send them the photo as promised. 

Ward is known for her risque photos online and felt that perhaps she could use that to get some help to the Australian people. 

She told a news outlet that, “I was seeing all the posts on Twitter about the Australian fires and I was really concerned there wasn’t a lot of media coverage and not a lot of people donating.” 

Her empathy towards these fires also came from her own personal experience when she and her family had their brush with the California fires. 

This has come at a cost to her though with her Instagram account getting deactivated on grounds of violating the platform’s sexual content guidelines. 

Apart from that, she also tweeted on Sunday that, “My IG got deactivated, my family disowned me, and the guy I like won’t talk to me all because of that tweet. But f–k it, save the koalas.”

Read More: FlippED: Are Millennials Still Considered Lazy, Aimless, Good-For-Nothings After Their Revolutionary Role In CAA/ NRC Protests

Positive Reaction Of People To This

Most interestingly though it is the reaction of common people to this tweet and her actions that has surprised me. 

Most of them seem to be showing a very positive reaction, applauding the model for her actions and doing her bit to help out in a moment of crisis.

Hollywood celebrities like Selena Gomez and more are also waking up and donating. Gomez tweeted out an article about how to help during these fires, confirmed that she’d donated and urged other people to do so as well. 

It is unclear what amount she’s given, some sources are saying it is $1 million while some are saying she donated $5 million.

But it is sad to see that very few public personalities are actually talking about this crisis, donating or asking others to do so. 

Kendall Jenner, one of the sisters from the billion dollar Kardashian family can only tweet out some broken heart and crying emojis while flying around in her private jet. 

This tweet really put it cleanly:

Someone even brought up Kylie Jenner buying mink fur slippers while thousands of koalas are in grave danger and bordering on extinction. 

Here’s hoping that the fires in Australia subside soon and things get corrected in India too with peace and normality returning everywhere.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: CNET, NY Post, BBC News

Find the blogger @chirali_08

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