KOZHIKODE: Three months into his service as Kozhikode district collector, N Prasanth has come up with an innovative method to identify an important problem that plagues the city- that of hunger.
"Operation Sulaimani" is an initiative by the district administration in collaboration with the state Hotel and Restaurants Association and a number of non-governmental organisations, to eliminate hunger by providing food free of cost to the needy. Food coupons will be distributed through taluk and village offices using which people in need can avail the service at select hotels across the city. The collector pointed out that distributing the coupons through village offices will help keep alcoholics at bay and solve the problem of identifying the needy.
“We are trying to create a centralised food pooling system in which people do not have to wait in long queues to get free food by compromising their self-esteem. ‘Operation Sulaimani attempts to eradicate this social divide and lets them have a meal at a proper hotel, which we believe is a more respectable approach,” he said.
From the perspective of hotels, it is practically not possible for them to sponsor food packets to the people on a daily basis. Through a centralised system, hotels across the city can pool in their resources together to help counter a social concern.
The project is in its initial stages at present. However, the collector informed that a trial run will begin from Tuesday to check its feasibility. The trial run will continue till its official launch which is expected to be in the next few weeks. A post inviting logos for the project has been put up on the collector’s official Facebook page. These logos are to be printed on the coupons. To begin with, 1000 coupons per day will be made available.
“Since we do not have the exact figure, we have decided to begin with an estimated number. Our aim is to gradually include all the hotels in the city, and more coupons will be made available,” he said.
“The creator of the selected logo will be invited over to gulp down a 'Sulaimani',” the collector promises in the Facebook post. The very purpose of naming the project ‘Sulaimani’ is to strike a chord with the residents of the city, as this black tea with a dose of lemon juice added to it, is one of the iconic items of Kozhikode.
After his campaign against urinating in public places ‘Trimoothri Photo Contest’, in which photographs of people urinating in public places were asked to be sent to the collector, Prasanth has gained the reputation of an interactive administrator, by making use of social media to communicate effectively to the public.
Asked about his reputation as an interactive collector, he said that the best way to solve civic issues is not to just go through files, but one that involves participation of the general public.
Author: Megha Varier