01 October, 2020

Appoopan's Exposé Manual

Armed with his camera and an indomitable spirit, this citizen activist readies to take on injustice

Appoopan's Exposé Manual
Amid high-profile media sting operations targeting politicians, there is a one-man army in a southern Kerala town of Kollam district by the name of Sathyavan Kottarakkara. With a still camera slung on his shoulders, he’s on the job—exposing civic rights violations and providing modes of redressal at minimal cost. The 69-year-old citizen activist has brought more relief to Kerala society than many NGOs put together.

His modus operandi is simple. He photographs civic problems as and when he encounters them. And then petitions Lok Ayukt adalats held every second and fourth Saturdays. Telltale pictures on official callousness invariably move the courts to issue orders. No legal sophistry here to delay justice since the petitioner himself argues the case. If the authorities delay implementing the adalat order, he moves contempt notices and holds dharnas compelling the media to put the issue in focus. "Most of us do not realise that adalats are forums for the public to argue their cases and get quick justice," reminds Sathyavan.

One of his recent interventions before the...



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