Salute! An IAS Officer Who Helped Kerala Secretly

As Kerala starts recovering from the biggest disaster it has seen in a century, every new day brings to the fore fresh stories of braveness. People from poorest pockets as well as those enjoying highest positions came together as one to help each other survive the massive floods. Some people showed great instinctive decision making, while others were successful in implementing a well-planned rescue operation.

IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan is a novel addition to the list of heros in the Kerala floods. The part that stands out the most about him is that he kept his identity a secret and never used his position for benefit during his entire tenure in Kerala.

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He came, he worked, he left

Kannan Gopinathan is a 2012 batch IAS officer who is currently serving as a district collector in the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. He arrived in Kerala on August 26 for an official work. All he had to do was to hand over cheque of ₹1 crore from Dadra and Nagar Haveli to Kerala CM relief fund. Puthupally in Kerala also happens to be his home town and one would have expected him to go there after handing over the cheque. Instead, the 32-year-old district collector took a bus from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur, one of the worst affected areas of the state.

Gopinathan never told anyone that he holds such a high position. In Chengannur, he went from camp to camp and helped people in leaving their home and joining the relief camps. He kept working in the relief camps for 8 days. On 2 days, he carried large packages on his head while offloading the relief material from tucks in Kochi.

bhdzfdxr8xysa8f5rzgh4dhlehkutrsg.jpgSource - Navbharat Times

On the 9th day, the identity of Kannan Gopinathan was somehow came out in the open. People started gathering to click selfies with him. But before the crowd could really expand, he left the city.

Epitome of humility 

“I didn’t do anything great. I was just a visitor. You have to talk to officers who live in the midst of the affected since the flood hit the state. They are real heroes,” Gopinathan said in an interview with Hindustan Times. He says that he became embarrassed when people started clicking selfies with him. He was spotted while volunteering at a relief camp at the Kerala Books and Publications Society office, by a senior currently posted in Kerala.

xhktgymvzqlzr5m5bfepqcag797nacrj.jpgSource - Varta Mitra

Gopinathan thought that it would be a disservice if he stayed there any longer since even the officials had now recognized him. His humility is such that he did not even want his story to be reported. He believes that everybody working on the ground is a hero. When he returned to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, he wanted these 8 days to be accounted as his leave days but the administration marked them as the days when he was working for the society.

Kannan Gopinathan has truly set an example of how to remain polite and humble despite having a lot of power. His service speaks about his quality.


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