Saturday, December 24, 2005
Nagapattinam diary 2
J Radhakrishnan, collector extraordinaire
When you think of reconstruction of tsunami-ravaged Nagapattinam, the name that comes uppermost in mind is that District Collector J Radhakrishnan, an IAS officer of sterling qualities. He smashes all myths about a bureaucrat being subservient to politicians. He has been instrumental in the rebuilding of Nagapattinam.
After the tragedy struck, relief flooded in. As the head of the district administration, he put in place a completely transparent coordination network among the NGOs. He survived the usual allegations of religious bias, conversions etc, with calmness and firmness. He has been described as the "people's collector" and is perhaps the most well-known person in this district.
When we journalists shot question after question, sought details of each and everything, sought facts and figures, Radhakrishnan was cool, composed and patient; and most importantly extremely polite. Rarely you get to meet such public servants. One interaction, and he leaves an indelible feel-good impression on you.
May he be blessed, and may he have lots of energy to continue the great work he has been doing.