eNarada, Bengaluru, January 20, 2017
Pharmacist turned producer Mahendra Munnoth’s debut film ‘Arivu’ (awareness) hit the screens today. The movie featuring Munnoth in the lead character is based on the story on promoting government schools.
The movie highlights the current scenario of government schools and its plight. Despite these schools having some of the best infrastructure and teaching faculty, there are hardly any takers. The movie also comes with an undercurrent message on upgrading government schools which is the need of the hour.
Interestingly, Munnoth is not a Kannadiga by birth but his love for language motivated him to act and produce a Kannada movie. Mahendra Munnoth says he is a Rajasthani by birth, a Kannadiga by profession, a Hindi by tongue and an Indian in heart.
In a freewheeling interview with eNarada, Munnoth recalled how he had left his village in Rajasthan way back in 1980. “It was one of the worst droughts in my village. As I had literally no work in field, I decided to visit my sister in Bengaluru. However, upon visiting Bengaluru, I decided to work in Bengaluru only. As I had studied only till tenth standard, I couldn’t find any big jobs. So, I had to settle down to work in a medical shop. I used to work so relentlessly that the shop owner encouraged me to study diploma in pharmacy. Later, he offered me his daughter and made me his son-in-law”, he said adding that since then he has chosen Bengaluru as his home.
Today, Munnoth is Bengaluru’s face of ‘Go Raksha’ campaign. He has been giving TV/ newspaper programmes on how and why one need to protect cows. There are posters across Bengaluru where Munnoth calls Bengalureans to raise their voice for protection of cows. However, he had to take up this campaign at a heavy price as he not only received death threats but also been physically assaulted. However, none of this stopped Munnoth from going ahead in protecting cows.
So, how has it been to get adjusted to a new culture? Munnoth said that he has been into a number of philanthropic works like distributing free note books to school children. Today, he distributes notebooks close to 4.5 lakh school children annually. He has also distributed wheel chairs to the needy. He and his team are also in forefront of conducting weddings for more than 10 HIV positive couple. He says that his success in a different place came because of his love towards his homeland and respect towards adopted home.