From a corner of a podium in a cool classroom of the IIM-K, Amina gazed at her daughter, Baby Fatima, lighting the traditional lamp. Later, she had a prayer on her lips as Fatima, confined to a wheelchair, welcomed the first batch of interns of the ambitious District Collector’s Internship Programme (DICP) that commenced on Thursday.
No better people other than Fatima along with Fatima Asla, another wheel-chair bound social activist involved in palliative care, could have done the inauguration of the two-month unpaid programme.The motto of the project is “compassion is the key.” Showing his enthusiasm and confidence in the first batch, District Collector N. Prasanth said the innovative programme was designed to tap the human resource potential of individuals from various walks of life for a socially relevant cause.
This unique experiment provides a platform for “dynamic individuals to come together and work within the government” and render professional and technology-oriented interventions. “We want people who are compassionate at heart. The programme is government-run without any payment. All will be connected via a WhatsApp group. Project assignments, deadlines and weekly reviews are some features. Of course, a certificate will be issued, but based only on performance,” the Collector said.
The interns comprising 35 youths from reputed institutions such as IRMA, IITs and IIMs have been selected after a rigorous process from the 700-odd applications the Collector’s office received.They will be guided by Dr. Suresh Kumar, Director, Pain and Palliative Care, Dr. Saji Gopintah, IIM-K and R.L. Baiju, District Judge, among others.
Certainly, the participants are in bright spirits. “I came to know of the programme from The Hindu news report. I think it is the best platform for me,” S.M. Angitha, student of Integrated Masters programme, IIT-Madras, says.