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People’s Hero: Kerala IAS Officer Who Carried Rice Sacks Has an Incredibly Inspiring Story!

MG Rajamanikyam has always been a beloved civil officer in Kochi for his humble, straightforward approach to his work and indomitable spirit.

A wedding was postponed so that the venue could be turned into a relief camp, actors came forward with financial help and urged fans to follow suit, and a blanket merchant donated his newly-purchased stock to flood relief camps. These are some of the many people who are helping to rebuild and restore Kerala’s spirit, in every way they can.

Among these heroes, two IAS officers, MG Rajamanikyam and NSK Umesh deserve special mention.

On August 13, at around 9:30 p.m., a truck loaded with rice sacks and other supplies arrived at a relief camp in Wayanad, Kerala where two IAS officers—G Rajamanikyam, Special officer dealing with Disaster Management, and Wayanad sub-collector NSK Umesh—were working. Most of the people in the camp were exhausted from the day’s work and were unable to carry the sacks from the trucks. Without a moment’s hesitation, the two started unloading the truck and taking the rice sacks inside the camp.

Photos of this deed which were clicked and circulated on social media went viral, and the officers have won praises for their efforts in helping the Kerala flood victims.

Source: Twitter/ IAS Association.

MG Rajamanikyam has always been a beloved civil officer in Kochi for his humble, straightforward approach to his work and indomitable spirit.


GiveIndia and The Better India have come together to help Rebuild Kerala by supporting 41,000 affected families. You too can be a part of this movement and help us raise funds for the NGOs working to rehabilitate these families. If all of us come together with a small monthly contribution, we can make a real and meaningful difference in helping restore normalcy to those who need our help the most.

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An incident from when Rajamanikyam was a student in Class 3, is a great example of his upright nature. The school was a non-English medium school, and the students were finding it difficult to score well in the subject. During the English exam, their teacher, out of sympathy, had written down the correct answers on the blackboard. However, Rajamanikyam failed the subject—he preferred this option to cheating and copying the answers that were right in front of him!

After completing his Class 12 from the same school, he went on to pursue further studies and even acquired an MTech degree, although he mentions that it was due to family pressure. Rajamanikyam was an academically gifted youngster, but even though he was a gold medalist at the university, he knew that he was not meant to take up a cushy engineering job.

Coming from a family of police officers, Rajamanikyam wanted to work for the benefit of the country.

Source: Twitter/ Swamv39.

Sustained interaction with district collectors during the Literacy Movement (Arivoli Iyakkam) in the villages of Kerala made him realise that the IAS was his true calling.

His posting in Ernakulam district as an IAS officer got him to work for an issue that everyone in the city was complaining about.

Speaking to Cochin Herald, Rajamanikyam says, “I joined in February. That time the monsoon and the initiation of the metro took a toll on the roads. That time I met a person who came to me with a paper showing the amount of money they are paying for the tolls each month, and yet they have to go through all these potholes. When so many people are paying such a huge amount to maintain the road, and despite that, there is nothing happening, then it is an issue.”


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When the National Highway Authority refused to take any positive steps about the pothole issue, the IAS officer simply shut the toll. He reasoned that if the public cannot have good roads, they should not be made to pay money for damaged roads either.

Soon, he went on to become the first collector from Kochi to receive the Best Collector Award!

Source: Twitter/Swamv39.

And for a good reason too. Explaining in brief about the work he has undertaken in Kerala, the IAS officer told CH, “In 2014, January 1, the Central Government had introduced a new land acquisition act. All of Kerala was stuck up in terms of land acquisition because of the unavailability of the routes. Kochi metro also faced that similar problem. So I took a decision to go for a direct purchase of land that was required to complete the project. It was a very speedy implementation.”

The Kerala High Court had even ruled against his acquisition, saying that the government cannot act like Robin Hood, even for a populist measure. The land acquisition case created quite a few controversies, and the media were highlighting the ill effects of those, but Rajamanikyam simply continued his work, knowing that he serves the people and not the media.


GiveIndia and The Better India have come together to help Rebuild Kerala by supporting 41,000 affected families. You too can be a part of this movement and help us raise funds for the NGOs working to rehabilitate these families. If all of us come together with a small monthly contribution, we can make a real and meaningful difference in helping restore normalcy to those who need our help the most.

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“Other than that, there were other social activities we introduced. Like Jyothi, for the underprivileged student in government schools, and Angels, which is a network of ambulances. All these combined together, gave me that honour,” he says.

Four years later, the IAS officer is back in the news, yet again, working tirelessly for the public.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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