The people are out there in social media, so we need to be there. Social media as a platform makes administration more transparent, seamless, fast, publicly accountable.
Prasanth Nair is the former District Collector of Kozhikode and the founder of the Compassionate Kozhikode initiative, which is one of the largest civic engagement projects by a district administration in Kerala. Under Compassionate Kozhikode, the district administration uses social media and technology and works with civic bodies, government agencies and volunteers to address various issues that need attention.
Prasanth Nair graduated from the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram in 2005. He is a 2007 batch Kerala Cadre Indian Administrative Service officer. Nair has served as Managing Director of the government-owned KTDC Hotels and Resorts, Managing Director of Beverages Corporation of Kerala, Private Secretary to the Home Minister, District Collector and District Magistrate.
When Prasanth Nair saw the pitiable conditions of his local mental health center, he decided to take action. He utilized the newly created Facebook page Collector Kozhikode to mobilize his community to help. In just a year, the page had successfully connected community members and enabled them to work on a number of social impact projects.
The district administration has launched several initiatives under Compassionate Kozhikode, such as District Collector’s Internship Program, educational scholarships, Kozhipedia, Legends of Kozhikode, and Tere Mere Beach Mein. These initiatives concentrate on different sectors that need improvement, hence building and strengthening society. Operation Suleimani, for example, aims to make the city hunger-free. The project distribute food coupons, which can be exchanged for a free meal at restaurants participating in the initiative.
Prasanth Nair’s campaign has mobilized widespread approval and has benefited more than eighteen thousand people so far. Compassionate Kozhikode has provided a push for the people to get involved in the betterment of the society when they see an opportunity to do so.