Walk the talk, the young district collector of Kottayam has shown the way.
Kerala district collector shows the way to physical fitness (Illustration: Sajith Kumar)
At least once a week collector Ajit Kumar will be walking down from his official residence to the place of work, five kms away.
Not alone, he has requested all his officers, who are staying in the 5 km radius of the collectorate, to dump their vehicles and set a standard.
On Wednesday, the collector had covered 5 km in 25-30 minutes. When the collector is setting an example how can others be left behind? Some overzealous officers have walked down 10-12 km to reach their offices.
Now, once a week, exercise walkathon duration will be increased gradually. Besides, cutting flab this will also help officers to realise ground realities, admit senior officials.
"We have to set an example. Besides health factors it will help decongest roads during peak hours. It will also help us to interact with man on the street and understand his pressing problems," the 2006 batch IAS officer said.
He has asked school and college students to follow suit. The city of letters (writers including Arundhati Roy belong to the area and the first to district to go fully literate) is embarking on another mission.
"Physical activities are declining alarmingly, especially among youngsters. We have to check this. Once officers set an example others will follow," he said, adding during his walk he noticed some encroachment and unauthorised parking.
"Every Wednesday there is a public hearing session. So while walking to the office we can hear and address some of the plaints. I think we can reach common man effectively through this," he said.
To popularise blood-donation campaign, the district collector had to bleed twice in recent months.
Practise what you preach, the officer is sure you can feel the pulse once you become one among them.