The tremendous impact of cyclone Gaja across coastal Tamil Nadu is there for everyone to see. Trees have been uprooted, houses have flown away, and there is a sense of despair among the residents of the state.
However, with casualties rising with each passing minute, rescue personnel have no time to lose and are relentlessly working towards evacuating people to safety.
It is in such precarious conditions that the involvement of bureaucrats plays a critical role and their expertise in making quick decisions as well as ensuring timely action comes to the fore. As always, direct ground level involvement that provides last mile connectivity is the need of the hour, as compared to deploying a rescue team while overseeing arrangements from the comfort of one’s armchair.
IAS officer Johny Tom Varghese, who led a relief team to reach out to fishermen hamlets that were made inaccessible by the wrath of Gaja in Nagapattinam, is one such person who has truly pulled out all the stops in this regard and unquestionably belongs to the former category.
Varghese is the additional director of the State Fisheries Department and has been appointed as the Nodal Officer of Nagapattinam. In the last one week, he has made several visits to the affected villages.
Only a few months ago, Kerala was devastated by the worst floods in nearly 100 years, and its after-effects are still plaguing the state. The manner in which the armed forces, fisherfolk and the common folk joined hands at Kerala’s darkest moment is an example that will undoubtedly go down in history.
In all this, we must not forget the contribution of dynamic IAS officers like TV Anupama, K Vasuki, Krishna Teja Mylavarapu, Kannan Gopinathan, Prashanth Nair and MG Rajamanikyam, who went beyond the call of duty and truly exemplified what it means to serve the citizens in time of need. You can read some of their inspiring stories here.
We hope that Tamil Nadu soon recovers from the aftermath of Cyclone Gaja, and are sure that the road to recovery will speed up with the involvement of dedicated officers like Johny Tom Varghese.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)