A good Samaritan will make a good Leader – Monthu Lobo

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A good Samaritan will make a good Leader – Monthu Lobo

Mangalore: A 71-year-old autorickshaw driver Monthu Lobo from Bendur is a household name in the Mangalore Corporation area. If there is ever any emergency or a community need, Monthu Lobo is the first person to pay a visit and help to solve whatever issues are at hand. He does his part by providing the needed financial help, by contacting government or city officials, or by approaching philanthropic citizens to help needy families. He is a true community leader and a Good Samaritan in Mangalore.

Born on September 8, 1935, to a poor family, he completed his higher primary school at St. Sebastian’s in Bendur, Mangalore. In 1955, Monthu started driving an autorickshaw to earn his livelihood. Monthu Lobo is married and they have three children one son and two daughters.

Monthu says, “When anyone runs for public office they try to get voters’ support. It is our basic duty to help our communities. Our goal should be to improve our communities and our nation as a whole. Instead of holding help from local or central government as a “Best Kept Secret”, the politicians should make sure that needy people get a fair share of these funds”.

“Nowadays, youth all over the world try to keep away from hard work – it is very common even in Mangalore. They always hunt for easy white-collar jobs where they don’t have to get their hands dirty. There are plenty of job opportunities in our nation even though we are more than a billion in population. If our youth come forward, work hard, work smart, and help the needy people in our communities, there is no doubt that our communities will prosper and ultimately our nation will prosper. Youths are the backbone of our nation and are the future leaders of our communities and we need strong youth with a desire to help and improve their communities”.

“When I was a young boy, my mother used to give us a cup of black coffee and sweet potatoes: the cheapest edibles in Mangalore. We struggled a lot to come up and stand on our own feet. We knew the real meaning of hard labour and smart work. That is the reason why, when I grew up, I always wanted to help the needy in my community”.

“As a rickshaw driver, I used to meet several people who were in need. Many asked me to help poor family members to build houses, for the families from hillside towns who were living in small huts. It was the only palace they could afford or knew in their lives. I encouraged them to have their own homes and promised that I will try my best to help them”.

“During these days I met Sister Bartholomeo from Prashanth Nilaya, Mangalore. We applied for government land and started distributing these sites to needy families. We hired daily workers and built homes. The beneficiaries also started to contribute money to build houses. For some, hillside houses, there was no water supply. I contacted government officials and made arrangements for the water supply lines installed for clean drinking water. St Vincent De Paul Society built several houses and supplied them with corporation water. Many churches were provided with Sodium Lights to keep the area bright during the night time”.

“After hearing about my social work for the needy, the late Bishop of Mangalore, Rev Basil D’Souza invited me to his house. He provided me with a small piece of land to build a house for me to live in, so I could avoid living in a rental house. Many of my volunteer friends helped me financially to build a house for me. Now I stay in my newly built house with my wife and three kids. I am very grateful to our late Bishop”.

He also recalls his acquaintance with former KPCC President B Janardan Poojary who inaugurated his house. Monthu Lobo is working hard to fulfil community needs more than an officially elected Corporator of Mangalore City Corporation. He wakes up at 4:00 am every day and after completing his routine house chores, he takes his rickshaw on his daily rounds proving transport for people to earn his daily bread. Simultaneously, he starts his social work to help the needy people in Mangalore. By helping needy people, he has not earned more money but has earned love from people, which means more to him than any monetary value.

Monthu Lobo’s social service to the community is varied. He has provided uniforms, books and chairs for students at St Joseph Higher Primary School, Kankanady Mangalore. About 525 students from this school received free uniforms and books with his efforts. Ronald Colaco, an entrepreneur from Bangalore, helped Monthu financially to make these arrangements. In the surrounding area, there were some dangerously grown trees. He contacted the Municipal Corporation and made arrangements to cut down the trees to help keep these students safe. Many parents of young students come to Monthu for donations for higher studies. Monthu meets people to make financial arrangements for them to continue their studies. For one college student, Monthu collected 10,000 rupees in just one day and helped him to continue his education. This shows how hard Monthu works to meet the needs of people in his local community.

Monthu’s community service has earned him the respect of his community, they have also asked him to contest for the corporation elections but Monthu refused to contest any elections. Finally, Monthu agreed to contest the elections from the Valencia ward as a Congress party candidate. Monthu said that if he wins the elections, his first aim is to support the community with various schemes like providing clean drinking water, proper drainage systems and repairing dilapidated roads with permanent solutions.

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