Rajendra Shetty: From humble beginning to Presidentship of Belle Grama Panchayat


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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

23 April 2015: Starting the life with humble beginning and believing in his own ability to shape his destiny, this young man from Moodubelle has  achieved considerable success in his career as a businessman and political activist. Besides these fields, he has been active in socio-cultural spheres and has earned a name for himself. This young and dynamic person is Rajendra Shetty-, presently President of Belle Grama Panchayat whose term will end in June 2015 or as and when the elections to the Grama Panchayats would be announced most likely in the month of May 2015.

 

 

Rajendra Shetty was born on 22 October 1969 as the second  among five children, two daughters initial schooling up to third standard in the Government Primary School, Kaup. Thereafter, he shifted to Moodubelle and continued his education in the Church Aided Higher Primary School up to seventh standard.


As the family was facing financial hardships, young Rajendra was unable to continue his education further and had to find his way to Mumbai where he started working in Scindia Shipping Corporation canteen, Balladpier. Meanwhile, realizing the importance of education, Rajendra joined the Kanara Vidyadayini Night School, opposite CST Railway Station, Mumbai from where he completed SSLC in 1987. During this period he worked at different places  such as Army Embarkation Headquarters, New India Assurance Canteen in Mittal Chambers.


Though Rajendra had an ambition to continue higher education in Mumbai, he was unable to do so as he had to support the family including his younger brothers and sisters. Realizing that he should venture into business, Rajendra started a small general store near Vandana theatre, Thane. Thereafter he started a hotel in partnership at Mulund named ‘Hotel Megha’ which he managed till 1998.


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As life in Mumbai was becoming quite difficult, Rajendra realized that his future lay in his own native village and returned to Moodubelle in 2000. Having returned to Moodubelle following his engagement with Jyothi in 1999, he married her on 23 April 2000.


When asked about his career after his return to his native place, Rajendra said that it was on the advice of his cousin, Shekar Shetty who has been working as Parcel Agent at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla, Mumbai, he took up the Railway Booking agency for Mangalore and Udupi. For the first two years, Rajendra had to struggle to maintain and improve the business. However, after two -years he was fortunate to get business from Satish Pai of the Manipal Press. It was through Rajendra that the parcels of news papers, magazines and other materials printed in the Manipal Press have been despatched through railway freight throughout India. The other important assignment was from Ashok Pai, proprietor of “Best seller” garment export. Besides, he got an opportunity to transport Fishnets which has been the largest component of his business.


Regarding his foray into politics, Rajendra said that his father, Kittu had been the member of the Belle Mandal Panchayat for two terms. Besides, for nearly 25 years the responsibility of collecting the market tax including the weekly market was with his family.


Having consolidated his business in railway freight, Rajendra ventured into political field when there was an appeal to the youth to join the BJP party. He became the member of the party and in the 2004 Karnataka Assembly election, he actively campaigned for Lalaji Mendon, the BJP candidate from the Kaup constituency.  In this election Lalaji Mendon succeeded in registering victory against the veteran Congress leader Vasant Salian who was a minister in the Karnataka Government  and had won the Kaup constituency successively for five terms. Lalaji Mendon won the seat at the third attempt.


Rajendra’s political activities and his organizing capacity caught the eye of the party leaders who advised him to contest the Belle Grama Panchayat elections in 2005. BJP supported candidates captured 13 out of 20 seats in the panchayat body and formed the panchayat administration.


In 2010, Rajendra once again contested the panchayat elections. Though he won his seat, the BJP was reduced to 9 out of 20 seats. The Congress party supported members constituted the village -administration with Mrs. Jacinta Aranha as the President for the first 30 months of the five year term.


When the term of Mrs. Jacinta Aranha as the president of the Belle Grama Panchayat was over in the month of December 2012, Rajendra Shetty became the president of the panchayat for the remaining half term which will be ending in the month of June 2015. 

 

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When probed into his achievements during the last two and a half years as the president of the Belle Grama Panchayat, Rajendra Shetty said that he made it a point to be available in the panchayat office for the villagers  to listen to their problems and he tried to provide solutions that lay within his powers.


Regarding the infrastructural and development work that was implemented during his tenure, Rajendra said that within one week of his taking over as the president, the road leading to the panchayat office from the main road was asphalted with the help of private donations. There were no toilets in the vicinity of the Santhekatte for a long time. It was during his tenure that a toilet sponsored by  Ronald Saby D’Souza was constructed.


The Santhekatte had been in a very bad condition. The uneven land was levelled in front of the fish market constructed during the previous administration and four shops were constructed from the grants obtained from the Udupi Taluk and Zilla Panchayats and additional seven shops are under construction.


Speaking further, Rajendra pointed out that the old panchayat office building that was constructed nearly 60 years ago was in a dilapidated condition and was renovated from roof to floor out of the income generated by the panchayat.


Rajendra claimed that it was during his tenure that the Udupi-Karkala Road widening and asphalting project was taken up. Similarly, the Belle-Pernankila, Ganapanakatte to Edmeru  and Ganapanakatte-Lions Club bypass roads were widened and asphalted. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Programme the road connecting Moodubelle and BC Road via Amvasye Bridge was completed during his tenure. Another road from Podikambla to Panjimar via Amavasye Bridge under “Namma Grama Namma Rasthe” was also completed.


In order to provide land for the landless to build their own houses for 101 families, Belle Grama Panchayat acquired five acres of government land and documentary formalities are already complete and title deeds for these families will be distributed soon.
Pointing out other beneficial activities of the panchayat during his tenure as the president, Rajendra Shetty said that 30 solar lights have been distributed to the needy people; 160 families have been provided toilets under the “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan”; electric connection has been provided to 29 houses under “Rajiv Gandhi Bhagya Jyothi” Scheme; and nearly 200 additional BPL cards have been distributed to those families below the poverty line.


Besides being active in politics, Rajendra Shetty joined the Lions Club, Moodubelle in 2007. During the past eight years he held various important posts culminating in being elected as the President for the year  2011-12. During his tenure as the President of the Lions Club, Rajendra Shetty initiated the project of having a permanent bus stand at Nellikatte and also a Traffic Vision Reflector at the Padubelle Cross Road.


As the Treasurer of the Lions Club and President of Belle Gramka Panchayat, Rajendra Shetty was instrumental in providing a house to Mrs. Ganga Sapalthi  under the Service Project of the Lions Club “Home for the Homeless”. This project was jointly undertaken by the Lions Club of Moodubelle and Belle Grama Panchayat.

 

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Rajendra Shetty has been contributing his time and service to other social and religious organizations. When he became the president of the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava samithi, Moodubelle in 2010-11 the celebration of the three days long Shri Ganeshotsava was shifted to Geetha Mandir. Along with Devdas Hebbar and other office bearers and members of the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samithi, Rajendra Shetty worked hard for the extension and covering of the space to the left of the Geetha Mandir. 


Another important achievement of Rajendra Shetty was that he was elected as one of the Directors of the Belle CA Bank for two terms-for the first time in 2010 and second time in 2015.

 

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Being one of old students of the Church Aided Higher Primary School, Mooodbelle, Rajendra Shetty had the privilege of becoming the president of the Old Students Association from 2012. It was during his term as the president of the Old Students Association, during the two days long Centenary celebrations of the Church Aided Higher Primary School, Moodubelle, the “Guruvndana” programme was held on 29 December 2013 under the auspices of the Old Students Association during which many of the past teachers were honoured. In preparation for the Centenary celebrations certain infrastructural activities such as levelling the ground in front of the school, building compound wall, providing drainage system and repair and renovation of the school building were taken up with the financial assistance from the Old Students Association.

 

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Rajendra Shetty married Jyothi (B.A, B.Ed)   on 23 April 2000. The couple has one son-Karthik who is presently in 10th standard in St. Lawrence English Medium High School, Moodubelle. Karthik has been a talented student and has been actively participating and winning prizes in various activities and competitions such as sports, acting, elocution, etc. 


 

 

Comments on this Article
Ferandies, Moodubelle Sun, May-3-2015, 1:13
Dear Belleans Please note that now Panchayat Election is going to come. Former Old Goonda leaders with their Goonda rule going to come, who fled the village long back will be back to Belle Panchyath Please vote the right person. These both parties are same face of one coin!
loelo, Boliye Wed, April-29-2015, 10:17
Yes I agree with Mr. Stephen Lobo Kattingeri, Gokal- Kattingeri road is long awaited , please do needful action as soon as possible.
ALFREEDA ARUN, BELLE/BAHRAIN Mon, April-27-2015, 4:05
WELL DONE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK,MAKE OUR BELLE A IDEAL PLACE FOR ALL THE BELLEYANS.
Wilfred Castelino, Moodubelle Sun, April-26-2015, 5:51
Rajendra Shetty done a many infrastructure development all over Belle and his availability in panchayat in morning time very funtual. Being my neighbor whenever I was in vacation he was telling my morning time for panchayat office work and public works. He is a model for future presidents and hope that future presidents will do better to prove themselves for betterment of all Belleans regardless party politics as Mr. Rajendra did. My best wishes my friend for your future your good work to society will reward you Thanks Dr. Eugene for wonderful coverage and encouragement.
Rony (Ronald Dsouza), Edmer/Dubai Sat, April-25-2015, 3:39

Thanks Dr Eugene for this wonderful article about Rajendra Shetty. Very happy to read the achievements of my dear friend,class mate and neighbor in earlier days. We used to walk together to primary school, playing pranks and sharing fun moments, though for brief period,but memorable. His achievements are noteworthy and I therefore wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.

R Fernandes, Mumbai Sat, April-25-2015, 1:37

Mr. Rajendra has improved Santhekatte and the roads leading to santhekatte to a great extent. His parking arrangement which is strictly being followed in the main road is praiseworthy. No one in the past worked into these areas like him. May we expect more in Belle such as garbage disposal and drain water handling to make it a model town? I am sure leadership like Mr. Rajendra can make it happen in future.

Wilfred H Menezes, Moodubelle/ Dubai Sat, April-25-2015, 2:36
As President of Belle Panchayat, Mr. Rajendra Shetty has contributed immensely for the development of various projects in around Moodubelle. At various occasions I have seen him leading his team in the front personally lend his hand to help the society. If I look back in the recent years of the Belle Panchayat history; I would rate him as one of the most successful leader of Belle Panchayat; who has proved nothing is impossible if you have the right will to help the society for its betterment!. I wish all the success ahead to Mr. Rajendra Shetty n May God Bless him abundantly for his selfless service!. Thanks Dr. Eugine for narrating the story of a unsung hero of Moodubelle!.
John Peter Fernandes, Moodubelle/Nottingham UK Sat, April-25-2015, 2:19
Rajendra Shetty you are top man.Hardworking and meeting people needs. Past couple of years I have been seen you have done great work and involved very actively around Moodubelle. I wish you all the success in your future life.
Philip Mudartha, Navi Mumbai Fri, April-24-2015, 7:44
The author has done yeoman service to readers in detailing the humble financial and academic background of Mr. Shetty.
Veronica Alick, Moodu belle/New Delhi Fri, April-24-2015, 12:17
Thanks Dr.Eugene for giving us the details of Sh.Rajendra Shetty.He is really a very hard working and take up his responsibilities very seriously. Even common people can approach him easily because of his ever smiling welcome gesture. We wish him all the best and good luck.
stephan Lobo, Kattingeri Fri, April-24-2015, 10:13
To our village Mr. Rajendra had taken initiatives of vast development. We all had Kattingeri villagers humbly request you to look into the road of Gokal-Kattingeri for the construction and asphalting as the road condition is unusable and please note a lot of elders and sick people do live in this area and suffer a lot because of this road condition. We again request you to do the needful and appreciate your support.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Thu, April-23-2015, 12:46
Rajendra has rendered great services to Moodubelle and the Panchayath. Results and improvements itself speaks volumes about his dedication, hard work and helping nature. I must say people like Rajendra always risen above party line and political affiliation. Wishing him greater success in future years. Thanks to Dr. Eugene for compiling this article and highlighting his achieves!
Rakesh De Souza, Moodubelle Wed, April-22-2015, 11:50
Well said Dr. Mr. Eugene, a humble man with a great vision and hardworking young man. Mr. Rajendra Shetty wish you all the best and good luck in future.
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