Prashanth Nair is a 2007 batch IAS Officer. He is now currently serving as Collector, Kozhikode. The young IAS officer is known for his crowdsourcing campaigns.
What is so s(pe)/(o)cial about him?
“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’,” says Prashanth.
- His followers fondly call him “Collector Bro”.
- He has 1, 69, 273 likes on Facebook to his page. Go have a look!
- Add to that, he has android & iOS apps to reach him.
So famous a government official! how is that possible?
# 1. Biryani to clean pond
He made an offer which Kozhikode’s residents couldn’t refuse. He recently posted a message on his Facebook page asking people of Koyilandy in the district to help clean a 14-acre pond filled with water hyacinth and slush. In return, he promised them a plate of Kozhikode’s famous Malabar biriyani.
In response to his call, quite a few volunteers got together to clean up the 14-acre Pisharikavu pond. Prashant took to Facebook to thank them all.
The money for providing biriyani was taken out of the district administration’s drought prevention fund. Prashant has always batted for the need to keep water bodies clean.
# 2. Operation Suleimani
Named after the iconic spiced tea of the region, Operation Sulaimani is a decentralised participatory project to address hunger in urban areas. Through the scheme, poor people in the city could eat at restaurants by producing food coupons given by the district administration.
# 3. Compassionate Kozhikode Project
He had launched yet another social project called ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’ or CK, which aims to “generate and nurture the spirit of compassion in individuals”. CK is founded on a firm faith in the innate goodness in each one of us. CK believes that most of the human beings are basically compassionate and capable of expressing it when opportunities are made visible. “Some of these featured initiatives we hope will be a tipping point for building a compassionate destination out of Kozhikode. Compassionate Kozhikode is an attempt to trigger and develop the spirit of compassion in individuals.
Here, go ahead give it a look –
# 4. Kozipedia
Kozhipedia, offers a platform for people to share information and to know more about Kozhikode.
The gathered info can be useful for planning of developmental projects, disseminating essential information to the public, tourism, nature conservation are some of them.
Do we expect such a guy to be without controversies?
# 1. War against illegal quarrying
Prasanth has been waging a relentless war against illegal quarrying and sand mining. A powerful pressure group involved in quarrying and sand mining in the district is intensely lobbying to remove district Collector N. Prasanth from the post.
# 2. Blamed by politicians
He has been criticised by politicians for keeping an active virtual profile, but he has no qualms about it. In a rapidly changing India where smartphones and Internet users multiply by the day, Prashant represents a new breed of administrators who wants to capitalise on the situation to reach out to more people.
Prashanth Nair’s words on Kerala’s development
Prashanth believes the public must be active stakeholders in the development process.
Kerala may be endowed with high human development indicators and laudable literacy initiatives, but it is sorely lacking in infrastructure building and a push for jobs. A recent ‘Ease of doing business’ survey by the World Bank showed Kerala languishing in the 18th position.
The public needs to be taken into confidence and strong and credible leadership should own up these initiatives. The public is often faced with a trust deficit issue when it comes to trusting new initiatives. This is where smart and credible social selling becomes relevant.
When asked about his future aspirations, this is what he has to say: “I wish to see a compassionate population in my district, people who care for each other. Our focus should shift from structures and concrete to people.”