news Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | March 19, 2015 | 5.10 pm IST The use of social media to crowdfund projects is not new. But a Kerala collector’s recent initiative seems to be one of the few instances where a district employee has resorted to crowdfunding to help a government mental institution. A recent Facebook post by Kozhikode district collector N Prashanth has become a topic of active discussion on social media. Published on Monday, the post is apparently an outcome of the collector’s official visit to the Kuthiravattom Mental Hospital in the district. He says that the sight in the hospital was a painful one and that patients there were living under wretched conditions. Prashanth in his post describes what he saw in the hospital as, “elderly mothers who have been betrayed by relatives, mentally ill brothers who were abandoned, and sisters who hesitate to step out of the hospital as they are scared of being subjected to sexual assaults, even though they have been cured of their illnesses.” (Translated from Malayalam) Praising the doctors and other hospital staff that takes care of these patients, he wrote that following his visit he asked the hospital superintendent to give a list of things that the hospital urgently needed. “I don’t think it to be appropriate to wait for government procedures to get these things and so I am publishing the list here. It will be of great help to the hospital if we could get them these necessities at the earliest. People of Kozhikode are kind-hearted,” he wrote while attaching the list to the post and the superintendent's contact details. With a total of 22 items, the list includes wheelchairs, cots, air beds, nail cutters, scissors, and water purifiers. Ever since, Prashanth says, they have been inundated with offers to help the hospital. "The response was far greater than what I had expected. We have got several offers and I think we will be able to solve the issue without the help from the government. I am happy that there are so many people who have understood the matter and have come forward to help," Prashanth told The News Minute. Stating that non-resident Keralites have also been offering money to buy the equipments from the list, Prashanth said, “But we are not accepting the money. We do not want money since money can be misused. We just want the items mentioned in the list.” He also added that though several genuine offers have been pouring in, they are yet to decide on how to manage the transaction. Tweet

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