A platform for discovering possibilities

A platform for discovering possibilities

Manjunath Kamath, with a group of like-minded people in Udupi district, is using social media as a powerful platform to make society a better place to live. His Facebook posts and videos have changed the lives of transgender persons like Kajal and Nagma and have helped two differently abled siblings to realise their dream of pursuing their education. “When I posted a photo of a thatched-roof house at Nitte Borgal Gudde, the Selco Foundation came forward to install a solar lamp at the house,” says Manjunath. 

Manjunath’s team members strongly believe that social media connects like-minded individuals to contribute for a cause. Manjunath and another team member, Prasad Shenoy, are writers, as well as use this medium to take a closer look at the aspirations of those they meet in-person. 

Known for its simple narrative technique, fresh perspectives his first work Daari Tappisu Devare has seen three editions within a span of three to four months from its release in January 2018. 

The book has also caught the attention of award-winning director BS Lingadevaru, who is now adapting it into a movie. “I see Manjunath Kamath as a traveller rather than a tourist in his works. He explores minute details from a place he visits and brings it out in his writings. His first work is an account of incidents that he encountered in his journey. I am trying to connect these incidents for the audience through the movie,” Lingadevaru says. Meanwhile, Manjunath has released his second work Naanu Sanyasiyagalu Horatidde in a novel way, on the banks of River Swarna! 

Manjunath and his team of five friends have set up a publication unit — Bilikallu Prakashana — as a response to the youth who no longer read books but are only engrossed in social media. 

The team said that the main reason behind starting a publication unit is, we craved for reading. The works published so far are Mani Mane Kathe by VB Hans and Raghavendra Rao, Lulu Travels by Prasad Shenoy, Daari Tappisu Devare! and Nanu Sanyasiyagalu Horatidde! by Manjunath  Kamath.  

To connect with those in the surroundings, Manjunath has formed a WhatsApp group called ‘Odugaru’ with like-minded people. Through this, he and his friends take up outreach programmes to help the poor. They also strive to create literary awareness.

“He has the potential to do things we can only dream of,” says Shashidhar, a close friend of Manjunath, while explaining how the latter organised a Yakshagana Talamaddale titled Sharasethu Bandha on an old bridge adjacent to a mosque at Sanooru. The event set a worthy example for communal harmony at a time when coastal districts were being considered communally sensitive.

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