Finding an innovative way to clean a local district lake, Kozhikode district collector Prasanth Nair, came up with an idea which is not only is getting the job done, but is also uniting the people for an environmental cause.
Nair, has over 1 lakh 68 thousands followers on his Facebook page and taking full advantage of this number, he on January 8, posted a request to his followers, asking them to help clean the local Pisharikavu lake.
Though these kind of request is nothing new to Facebook, what Prasanth offered in return was what made this initiative an innovative one.
Nair asked the people of Koyilandy in Kozhikode to pitch in and clean the polluted Pisharikavu lake and in return offered to treat all volunteers to some delectable ‘Kozhikode Biriyani’, which is a famous Malabar delicacy and very popular in Kerala.(Keralites call it and spell it ‘Biriyani’.)
The idea, seemed to work and the people of Koyilandy village not only turned up in large numbers, but also gave it their 100 per cent and cleaned the 57,000 square meter-lake this Republic Day.
In return, Nair, as promised, gratefully dished out heaps of Kozhikode Biriyani to the volunteers which the people ate with delight.
To pay for the Biriyani, Nair used the funds that were allocated for drought prevention.
Nair took over as Kozhikode district collector last February and since then has developed a huge fan following especially on Facebook.
Keeping up with time and requirement, Nair uses Facebook as his preferred mode of communication and makes all his announcements there.
He also discusses various schemes with the people on his Facebook page and communicates in the local language so that it is accessible to everyone.
To keep the conversation light and earthy, he keeps his post humorous and always addresses people directly. Having developed a rapport with the locals, he is called a ‘rock star’ and ‘bro’ with people being addressed by him as ‘Bhai.’
Over the years, Nair has changed the face of the district, as he has not only ensured that it is clean but he has also made sure that funds reach the right people and that they are allocated on time.
The ‘Kozhikode Biriyani’ idea also seems to have worked as a charm for him as the Kerala government has for a while now been asking groups and residential associations to help out in cleaning of water bodies near them.