Prasanth Nair, the Kozhikode District Collector, is not only well known in Kozhikode but also has a huge fan following on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Nair has more than one lakh followers on Facebook and what is unique about Nair is that he makes sure that the residents of the area that he is looking after get a chance to interact with him whenever they want.
What is more, besides making himself available on Facebook, Nair also conducts many campaigns to solve various local issues in the area.
Appreciating the people that follow him on the social networking site Facebook, Nair even has a thank you note as his cover picture that says “Thank you 1,00,000 compassionate hearts”.
Nair’s page ‘Collector, Kozhikode’ is personally handled by him and besides having more than one lakh followers has many posts dedicated to recent developments and numerous interactions.
Unlike many other pages of government officials who barely interact with people and hardly answer their queries, Nair’s page sees all comments answered, issues are discussed and regular campaigns are conducted with a lot of activity taking place.
While many politicians have criticized Nair for his highly visible presence on social media, he has no plans to stop and remains a beacon for all those administrators who want to reach out and remain connected with the people.
Besides regular comments, answers and information about the ongoing campaigns, the page also regularly posts many pictures and videos of the activities that are taking pace in his district.
One of his most famous campaigns on Facebook is ‘Operation Sulaimani’ which was started keeping in mind the issue of hunger in urban areas. Tackling the issue head-on, Nair offered Sulaimani Coupons to people in the city who cannot afford a meal for any reason; the person could be anyone – people who are poor, students, anyone travelling through the district who doesn’t have enough money to buy food or anyone else.
ഓപ്പറേഷൻ സുലൈമാനി (OPERATION SULAIMANI)There is NO general fund collection whatsoever for Operation Sulaimani. We are…
They can get these coupons which in turn are taken into consideration by a large number of restaurants in the city and food is distributed at the outlets which are either run by student volunteers or at shops and government offices or taluk and village offices.
The restaurants, in return for a coupon, get compensated with equivalent amount of money, which is accommodated from an account maintained by the campaign implementing agency.
While all this may sound easy, the road has not been an easy one for Nair as he has faced many hurdles in his way, like recently Kozhikode District Congress Committee (DCC) president KC Abu made complaints that the collector is spending a lot of time on social media and does not have time to receive phone calls. While, others might have expressed outrage, Nair simply replied to DCC President accusation in an interview with the Indian Express, by saying:
“The people are out there in social media, so we need to be there. It’s as simple as that. Pasting notices on the notice boards of the village office is no longer the way to reach out to the public. Social media as a platform makes administration more transparent, seamless, fast, publicly accountable, and ‘informal’.”