Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee

New Delhi, Sept 9

THE Indian Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, under the aegis of the National Associationof Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), Nasscom has written to US Department of Homeland Security offering over 1,000 call centre seats to assist rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"We have written to the US Ambassador to India as well as Department of Homeland Security to commit call centre seats to handle calls relating to information on missing people, as well as information on aid and relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. All major BPO and IT companies in India have offered to allocate seats in their existing call centres," the Vice-President of Nasscom, Mr Sunil Mehta, said here.

He said that Nasscom was working out the specifics, and would sit with the concerned US authorities to identify the requirements.

"We are still working out the specifics as to what help we could provide within a geographical area hit by the hurricane," he pointed out.

The deadly Hurricane Katrina that hit Gulf Coast of US on August 29 submerged three States - Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama killing thousands and leaving many more homeless.

The worst affected area was New Orleans (in Louisiana State) where the official death toll has risen to 118.

By August 30, a day after the Category 4 storm made landfall, 80 per cent of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, was flooded, with some parts of the city under 20 feet of water.

The flood was caused by several levee breaches due to a combination of a powerful storm surge, strong winds and excess water in the bodies of water surrounding the city.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 10, 2005)
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