In June 2013, Biju Prabhakar IAS wrote in his blog criticising the ban on killing stray dogs in Thiruvananthapuram city: “Don’t feel sad or angry or disgusted - we can afford to lose one from 1.2 billion population. The right of a stray dog is more precious to us than the life of a little human being. I don’t understand why these restrictions on killing of stray dogs? Why can’t a District Collector initiate actions against this ‘public nuisance’ under Cr.PC?”
Eight months later, on Monday, he has taken over as the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector from K N Satheesh. However, he has not moved an inch from his policies. Having resided in the city for long, Biju Prabhakar is well aware about its problems and progress.
Addressing the media for the first time as the Collector, Biju Prabhakar said that his priorities would be the execution of a complete health plan, the smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha election and solving the water crisis in the district.
He said that a health plan will be prepared with the help of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to prevent the spread of epidemic diseases. The programme will be executed in April and May and will be completed before the onset of monsoon in June.
Both the new and the previous Collectors belong to the same IAS batch of 2004 and are good friends also to the extent that both address each other on a first name basis. According to Satheesh, the “occasionally hot-tempered” new Collector is known for his perfectionism. Besides, he is well-acquainted with the district also.
Being the son of former minister Thachadi Prabhakaran, Biju Prabhakar has a clear answer to the question why he chose civil service to serve people, instead of politics. “We can do many things when we are in the service, when we are part of the system. The projects should reach the grass-roots level and the common man should get the benefits. Governments should not be afraid of the public opinion but try to educate people,” he said.
A graduate in Chemical Engineering and Law, he is also a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He has formerly served as the Director of Lotteries Department, Managing Director of Kerala Medical Services Corporation, the Commissioner of Food Safety and the Director of Public Instruction. He has also served as a plant manager in HLL Lifecare Limited at Mumbai.
Biju Prabhakar is the founder director of many gem projects like IT@School, ViCTERS Education Channel, Bhoomi Keralam project, Karunya Benevolent Fund and Karunya Lottery.
Reaffirming his policy of participatory governance, the Collector said that he expects the cooperation of the people, NGOs and residents’ associations. He added that he will be touring the district for the next three months to get to know even the remote regions.
Biju Prabhakar is married to Reena Krishnan and they have two daughters Meghna and Ishitha, both students.