In this modern technology and fast moving era, we cannot deny the fact that the usage of internet has become one of our basic needs. Net using is not a curse unless and until, it is utilized through a proper channel. Internet users and smart phones are multiplying day by day.
Prashant Nair, who heads the Kozhikode district administration in Kerela, represents a new breed of administrators who wants to capitalize on the situation to reach out to more people in lesser time. He is not a regular kind of district collector as social media for him is a platform for making administration more transparent, fast and publicly accountable and informal. Prashant was earlier posted as private secretary to the state Home Minister. He is the mark of a change as he commands more than one lakh followers on Facebook and addresses each of his young male audience as ‘Bro’. He believes that pasting notices on notice boards of the village office is no longer the way to reach out to the public. People are out there in social media so he needs to be there too. He leads innovative crowd-funded campaigns through social media.
Prashant wants his public to be the active stake-holders in the development process and wants them to trust the relevance of smart and credible social selling. Socializing on Facebook and other sources would make people trust his new initiatives. Prashant has created a page called ‘Collector Kozhikode’ and handles it personally, due to which no question remains unanswered on it. People raise complaints in their residential areas and at many times, appreciates Prashant’s work on the page.
He headed one very important campaign named, ‘Operation Sulaimani’, which was named after iconic spiced tea of the region and its main motive was to address hunger in urban areas. The project benefitted people of the city who could not afford the decent meal for whatever reasons. Meal coupons are distributed by the project on the request of the needy and are obliged by the large number of restaurants in the city. Many outlets operated by student’s volunteers, shops, government offices offering Sulaimani coupons get the money re-imbursed from the account maintained by the implementing agency and treat the coupon holders as any other guest. Socializing nature of Prashant Nair often puts him into controversies, but he has no qualms about it, instead feels a need for E-literacy more amongst public and local politicians too. He wants to stay connected to the local masses and sort out their problems through this medium. Facebook and twitter are additional media for citizen interface.
Dr.Suresh Kumar, founder of Institute of Palliative Medicine and who works with Prashant on many initiatives, finds him open to suggestions and dedicated towards his work and feels he is not just putting a post on Facebook, but is also taking out time to contribute to a good social commitment. Prashant is not forced to initiate many of the programmes but he himself wants to make literacy initiatives to be an indicator of high human development.
Prashant Nair has set a live example where an IAS officer is into a social media just to see compassionate people in his district Kozhikode. Everyone should be dedicated to the social development of his ‘Karmabhoomi’ and people should care for each other. Social media can play a major role in focusing on people rather than on structures and concrete.
Connect with Prashant Nair on Facebook.
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