Collector with 'heart' launches Compassionate Kozhikode project

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Punekar News's photo.Kozhikode, Kerala, October 3, 2015: N Prasanth, the district collector & district magistrate of Kozhikode district in Kerala, on Saturday 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. Compassionate Kozhikode 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. Though a lot of marginalised
people benefit from the various projects on the CK platform, the main beneficiaries are people who get exposed to realities of real life through these projects. We believe that transformation and unleashing the feeling of empathy through involvement in CK projects will result in compassionate attitudes and lifelong commitments,” said Prasanth
during the inauguration program at Girls Home in Vellimadukunnu, a suburb in Kozhikode which was earlier known as Calicut.

Punekar News's photo.Since taking over charge of Kozhikode district administration head six months back, Prasanth has taken a plethora of initiatives in partnership with civil society, Government agencies and most importantly citizens who are volunteering to create an authentic and
inspirational destination for them to live and invite people to visit and be part of the experiences.

All the projects are crowd funded. CK does not collect money for the projects. Contributors are directly linked to beneficiaries. Compassionate Kozhikode is collectively owned by the people of
Kozhikode. The platform is facilitated by the district administration, Kozhikode.

Prasanth often posts his views on Facebook (Collector Kozhikode page which has 129,415 likes as per last count) and replies to comments by people.

'N Prasanth'On Friday, he again took to Facebook to announce CK and also narrated an incident. “After having cleared his UPSC exams, Akshan was to join his posting in New Delhi. A week before that, he travelled from his village in Odisha to Kozhikode to meet Gopi Saab, whom he had never met, but have heard about a thousand times. As he would say, he travelled three days in the train “just to meet him, sit in his presence for a while and seek his blessings” as his mother would have loved him to do so. Several years ago, during an Indian Railway posting in Odisha, our Gopiettan had taken care of the educational expenses of some of the girl children including that of this boy’s mother. She had no father, and her mother was a sex worker living in an impoverished tribal hamlet. His financial support continued even after he went on to another posting in Gujarat until she graduated. That single thoughtful act of compassion opened up her world, took her to the University where she met her future husband and found a well paid job together.
Akshan is first of the couple’s children.

‪#‎CompassionateKozhikode‬ is a platform designed to connect such people. The one who is in need and the one who has the compassion to be part of their journey,”
Prasanth stated the purpose of #compassionatekozhikode

Compassionate Kozhikode is a simple, yet powerful voice to reach out to the voiceless. It enables the citizens of Kozhikode to understand each others’ lives, share their stories and lend a helping hand to those in need. An endeavour by the district administration of Kozhikode, it encompasses a multitude of projects like renovation of
the Mental Health Centre in Kuthiravattom, expanding the scope of Palliative Care Institute, Infrastructure development for the differently-abled and Physically Challenged individuals, adequate facilities for care of senior citizens, rehabilitation of the affected  lot, Clean and Green Kozhikode City…and much more in consultation with
the active civil society of Kozhikode. The District Collector’s Internship Programme (DCIP)— a unique opportunity to work closely with the district administration—brings in a versatile pool of talent in pursuit of service. DCIP would aid in innovating solutions for the challenges faced by the disadvantaged sections of our society.

Compassionate Kozhikode aims at building a bright generation of compassionate citizenry and, nurture empathetic leaders for the nation.

Punekar News's photo.Kozhikode over the years has captured the imagination of the public when it comes to its warmth, hospitality and compassion. An often highlighted example of a Kozhikodan characteristic is the typical auto driver story we constantly hear. He/ She is known for his/ her honesty and service mind. They are famously known to advice you as a passenger to take a public bus because it’s one tenth of the price and the bus frequency is better. We have seen wonderful Students in Palliative Care movement by socially responsible youngsters.

Compassionate Kozhikode is a platform to celebrate such people and to bring together
like minded people to create a holistic destination out of Kozhikode.

An initiative that is literally designed to create a better place out of Kozhikode for people to live and for people to visit. The fact that Kozhikode became the incubator for worlds first attempt in community based Palliative Care resulting in pioneering a base of more than fifty thousand selfless volunteers representing more than 1500 home based units caring for more than a 100000 terminally ill and incurably ill patients.

What’s it that clicks in Kozhikode ? What’s bringing them the sense of togetherness? It’s this exploration that lead to facilitating a platform called #CompassionateKozhikode. In the same Kozhikode we have seen political murders, communal conflicts, nasty property disputes, parents left behind to mend for themselves, all of which could have been avoided with a little bit of ‘Mohabeth’ as one of the popular movie character says in the movie, ‘Ustad Hotel’.

“Compassionate Kozhikode is all about that attitude,” Prasanth believes.

About N Prasanth

Prasanth is a civil servant and member of the coveted Indian Administrative Service (IAS). He now serves as the head of Kozhikode district administration in the Government of Kerala.

Born in Thalassery in Kannur district of Kerala, Prasanth grew up in Thiruvananthapuram, where he did his schooling and college. He graduated in Law from the University of Kerala.

In 2007, he was selected to the Indian Administrative Service (4th rank all-India) and borne on the Kerala cadre.

His other very popular initiatives include

1) Operaton Sulaimani – Food with Dignity

Sulaimani originally is a rare blend of tea, lime and warmth. Operation Sulaimani ensures no one in Kozhikode is denied food on account of an empty or even lost wallet. You have the right to food without answering a series of questions in a queue. There are more than 25 ‘Sulaimani’ Distribution centres in 14 zones of Kozhikode district that one can access in need. The coupons from here can be exchanged for a good meal in more than 100 restaurants in the district now. This initiative is run in partnership with and hotel and restaurants association and public support.

2) Savari Giri Giri – Travel With Dignity

It is a normal scene across Kerala where you could see students going to schools and colleges standing in long queue, mostly ignored and harassed by private buses. They are not allowed inside the bus before ‘adult’ tickets are engaged, they are often mistreated and shouted. Many of them don’t even reach school on time as they ‘missed their
bus’ and for those who reached the school, the experiences of often nasty interaction with the bus staff leaves a bad taste and humiliation.

It’s in this context Savarigirigiri was launched to bring dignity to such passengers while studying the reasons behind such behaviour from the bus operators. As per rules, school and college goers get concession in buses. As most of the bus services are operated by Private players they see the students only as ‘numbers’ that incur losses to them. From their perspective, any student getting on to the bus is a missed opportunity to have accommodated an adult on full fare. Now students can travel like a VIP in the bus as the ‘opportunity cost’ is taken care through SavariGiri. They will soon be given smart cards that allow them to travel hassle free across the district.
(Source – Facebook, Compassionate Kozhikode)

‪#‎Savarigirigiri‬ #CompassionateKozhikode ‪#‎Kozhikode‬ ‪#‎Kerala‬ ‪#‎nprasanth‬
‪#‎OperatonSulaimani‬ Collector, Kozhikode