For Munnesa Managuli, calls for help may come at any time. He, however, does not let the late hours deter him, and immediately rushes to the assistance of those who need it. A true hero, this selfless man from Karnataka, has decided to provide free rides to pregnant women, women who have given birth recently, physically-disabled people, soldiers and Kannadigas living in border areas.
With his contact details proudly plastered over his auto, Mr Managuli is very clear about who he offers free service. The 42-year-old BA graduate faced unemployment, which is why he took up driving an auto, around 11 years ago.
Munnesa is not the owner of the auto, and has to cough up Rs 250 a day to use the vehicle to ferry passengers.
So what does this selfless human do?
Well, he picks up passengers on a regular metered fare. He also rents out his services for a whole day, for regular passengers. However, if he receives a call or gets flagged down by someone who is pregnant, or physically disabled, he ferries them to their destination free of charge.
When asked about the inspiration behind his selfless act, Mr Managuli narrates a heartbreaking story, one set in 1992.
He was in Narayanapura village in Basavanabagewadi taluk, Karnataka when he saw a pregnant woman die, as she did not get an ambulance or any other vehicle, to visit the hospital. This incident struck him, and he decided to become an auto driver who would provide free services to such people.
Maintaining a log book since 2015, Munnesa has given free service to around 2000 people to date.
Many have his number, and others flag him down when they see him. He says that he drops people from hospitals to homes, bus stands or railway stations, according to their needs.
Service above self is a motto this man follows. Having lost his brother, he has taken up the responsibility of providing for his sister-in-law and her four daughters. He wants to give them as comfortable a life as he can. This is one of the main reasons why Munnesa is still unmarried and plans to remain so.
Munnesa dreams of having his auto rickshaw one day when he can afford it. The service he provides is for self-satisfaction, he insists. He feels elated when people express their gratitude for the help received.
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For this humble man, that alone is enough to live. In a world full of self-centred people, it is folks like Karnataka’s Munnesa that help restore our faith in humanity.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)