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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Till his last breath, Tendulkar wanted safe roads for Punekars

pune Updated: Jul 12, 2017 16:15 IST
Prachi Bari and Shrinivas Deshpande
Prachi Bari and Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Cartoons by Mangesh Tendulkar in Pune on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
Cartoons by Mangesh Tendulkar in Pune on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (HT PHOTO)

Such was renowned cartoonist Mangesh Tendulkar’s passion for road safety that he spoke to a Hindustan Times correspondent from his hospital bed on the subject just a day before his death.

Tendulkar, who passed away at 1 am on Tuesday had not only campaigned passionately for road safety on many occasions, but had also made special cartoons for Pune Traffic Police on road safety and safe driving.

Even though he was admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic for a surgery, he spoke twice to a HT correspondent from his hospital bed. “Deaths due to accidents are a major concern for our city. Since Pune is going to become a smart city, we have to find smart solutions for this problem,” he said.

The 83-year-old cartoonist wanted to speak more but was not allowed by his doctors to do so and therefore asked the journalist to contact him after eight days.

Younger brother of the famous Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Mangesh Tendulkar often stressed on peoples’ initiatives along with the authorities to reduce traffic congestion and prevent accidents.

His work was featured in numerous exhibitions in Pune and other parts of the state and he often saw the festive spirit during Diwali as a platform to create public awareness about road accidents.

During Diwali, Tendulkar would park his two-wheeler near the busy Nal Stop Chowk at 10 am for two hours and again at 5 pm and distributes post cards to people at the traffic signal. These cards would carry Diwali greetings with his signature, a satirical cartoon and an appeal for following traffic rules.

Those who received these postcards would feel very happy and describe it as a great Diwali gift. Tendulkar recalled ‘’I witnessed an accident at Paud Road which resulted in the death of a 18 year old girl. That accident happened because of irresponsible driving by a Pune Municipal Transport (PMT) bus driver.”

Tendulkar is survived by wife Snehalata, son Mahesh and daughter Vandana nee Neha Dhavale. “Though the operation was successful, he died of a massive cardiac arrest,” Vandana said. She added that his last wish was to complete 100 exhibitions of his cartoons. Just 14 were remaining and we will hold those exhibitions every three months and fulfil his dream,” she said.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 16:14 IST