Panchayat chairs use social media to support official work

For Ppathhi Natarajan, 44, second time panchayat president of A Pandalam village panchayat in Kallakurichi district, social media has driven her to reach out to people and get feedback and vice versa.

Talk to Next, Pappathi said she could feel the changes that SM platforms had brought to her work since October 2021, as people from her panchayat who had settled abroad for work also contacted her to sort out the issues. “I had my first mandate in 2006-2011, a period when social networks did not evolve much. When I returned in 2021 to the office, I opened accounts on Twitter and Facebook which accelerated my connection with people and senior officials,” she told this newspaper.

According to her, she used to make announcements on Twitter and Facebook regarding various special camps for patta transfer, old age pensions and health programs planned in her village.

She also noted that by using social media, it is easier to contact senior government officials, which she could not do so easily in the early days.

“If I want to meet with senior officials to acknowledge our grievances, we either have to go to the district headquarters or to the Secretariat. However, addressing civil servants or ministers on some critical issues on DMs contributes to immediate results,” said a cheery Pappathi. She said social media not only bridges the gap between people and her, but also connects people to public servants.

Yuvarani Karthikeyan (29), chairwoman of Pulvaikkarai village panchayat in Narikudi block, Virudhunagar says she uses SMs as a real-time bulletin for her public work.