Facebook is not just a pastime or a means for the aam aadmi to vent his ire. A collector in Madhya Pradesh is using the popular social media website to address common man’s grievances.
P Narahari, who took over as Gwalior's collector nine months back, has become a hero-of-sorts after he used Facebook to quickly dispose of complaints from people. “Though the collectorate's website allows people to register their complain online, I observed not many use it. I then decided to open a FB account so that people could get in touch with me directly," says Narahari.
The net savvy engineer checks his account every morning and in the evening, and also while travelling.
Anita Chopra, a Central Bank of India manager’s complaint is a case in point. Chopra was having a tough time trying to recover money from those who used forged documents to get loans.
"Visits to the police station did not help. I then came to know about the DM's Facebook account. I posted my grievance and got an appointment with him. He directed me to the senior SP. The culprits were arrested in a few days," Chopra says.
Everyday Narahari's wall is filled with complaints about potholes, water logging etc. The complaints — through a grievance redressal software — are directed to respective departments. They in turn have to address these complaints within a stipulated time.
Not just complaints — he gets 20-30 in a day— Narahari says he received many suggestions that could soon find a place in the town's policies. Narahari has 5,000 friends on Facebook.
The best part: “Facebook has narrowed the distance between me and the people. They consider me their friend rather than a bureaucrat in the high office,” Narahari says.