Founder

Mulki Ramakrishna Punja

Sri Mulki Ramakrishna Punja popularly known as M.R. Punja is a great visionary and trusted name in social and reforms. A proud son of Mulki Sri Punja was a determined, disciplined and principled person with forsightehtedness and social concern. Born in 1886, he completed his intermediate and opted medical education at Madras Medical Collage. Due to illness he had to abruptly discontinue it. Influenced and impressed by the principles of Gandhiji, He jumped into social service. A towering personality in khadi, he possessed exceptional organizing abilities.

He started a Bank named Mulki Bank Ltd. In 1929 and became the president. This was instrumental in inculcating saving habit in the people of Mulki and its neighborhood. He motivated the formers and villagers to invest in the bank shares and take full advantage of the lending programme of the Bank, thus freeing the farming sector from the rigid clutches of money lenders.

When Gandhiji visited Mulki in 1934, He stayed at Punja?s residence for a day and addressed a large audience at Karnad and the ground was named after him as ?Gandhi Maidan ?. The punja?s family was known for their generosity and the family membersdonate their precious things, jewels, Money for a great cause? Gandhi Nidhi? on this way back Gandhiji return on the donations and entrusted the responsibility of prohibition propaganda , welfare of Harijan?s to Sri Punja.

Sri Punja became the president of the District prohibition board and spearheaded this movement with zeal and enthusiasm that created a tremendous awareness among the people on the evils of drinking. He built an organization for prohibition propaganda through out the length and breadth of the district.

Sri Mulki Ramakrishna Punja popularly known as M.R. Punja is a great visionary and trusted name in social and reforms. A proud son of Mulki Sri Punja was a determined, disciplined and principled person with forsightehtedness and social concern. Born in 1886, he completed his intermediate and opted medical education at Madras Medical Collage. Due to illness he had to abruptly discontinue it. Influenced and impressed by the principles of Gandhiji, He jumped into social service. A towering personality in khadi, he possessed exceptional organizing abilities.

He started a Bank named Mulki Bank Ltd. In 1929 and became the president. This was instrumental in inculcating saving habit in the people of Mulki and its neighborhood. He motivated the formers and villagers to invest in the bank shares and take full advantage of the lending programme of the Bank, thus freeing the farming sector from the rigid clutches of money lenders.

When Gandhiji visited Mulki in 1934, He stayed at Punja?s residence for a day and addressed a large audience at Karnad and the ground was named after him as ?Gandhi Maidan ?. The punja?s family was known for their generosity and the family members donate their precious things, jewels, Money for a great cause? Gandhi Nidhi? on this way back Gandhiji return on the donations and entrusted the responsibility of prohibition propaganda , welfare of Harijan?s to Sri Punja.

Sri Punja became the president of the District prohibition board and spearheaded this movement with zeal and enthusiasm that created a tremendous awareness among the people on the evils of drinking. He built an organization for prohibition propaganda through out the length and breadth of the district.

His slogans created against drinking were heard in every nook and corner of the district which the people remember even today.
As the managing trusty of Bappanadu Durgaparameshwari Temple, Mulki, Sri Punja initiated many social reforms. He unleashed a campaign for allowing the socially disadvantaged section into the temple amidst the strong opposition from upper castes. He was instrumental in revolutionary change of discrimination between upper-class and scheduled castes/tribes and took a bold step to break this.

In 1937, when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Mulki, Sri Punja was host to him. As the president of Lingappayyakadu Samithi he constituted a rural development sell including 38 villages in the neighborhood he organized to distribute coconut sapling to every in the village and celebrated ?Tree Planting Celebrating Day? Which was then implemented throughout the state, now being popularized as ? Vanamahotsava? .
He endeared to the students and staff alike and his pleasing personality had a salutary effect that motivated every teacher and student toward excellence. As a secretary of Mulki High school Committee, He was largely responsible for setting up of the Mulki Board High School which was the second one in the district. As a social worker , reformer, freedom fighter Sri Punja participated in Gandhiji?s ?Swadeshi Movement? , ?Dandi March?,?Propangada of Khadi?,?Irradication of Untouchability?, and ?Prohibition?.
In health care sector he was instrumental in the establishment of District Hospital and ?Hospital Fund? in Mulki. The good work initiated by him is being continued by his family members. At a time when ignorance, ill literacy and ill health where rampant in the society Sri Punja had done so much for its progress and development despite poor communication and transport facilities.

Sri Punja in spite of odds and threads lived for the betterment of Mulki. He espoused the principals ?Shraddha? (sincerity), Samyama (Patience) and Samarpana (dedication). He was not merely satisfied in sharing what he had, but he found supreme satisfaction in sharing what he was. He endeared to one and all and this made him what he was dedicated his life for. Sri Punja passed away in 1950. As people of Mulki, We cannot easily forget him for his exceptional contribution to make it richer, more meaningful and purposeful.

As a result of his good deeds, visions, ideals and morals, his family members also reached not only to greater heights in the society, but also take him on all his social service ventures in his footsteps. Sri Ramakrishna Punja had a contended family with five sons and three daughters. His fourth son sri.M.R.Hari Pujna, an eminent industrialist and social reformer established this Industrial Training Institutewith the objectives of educating the Rural Youths in 1984 sponsored by Mulki Education Society. Sri M.R.Bhaskar Punja, youngest son of Sri Punja as a chairman of IDBI, provided grants for the purchase of equipments. He is contributing to the scholarship fund for ITI students.

Named after M.R.Punaja, now being run in a well equipped building by Nitte Education Trust, the prestigious one in the D.K and Udupi Districts, the institution is celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year 2008-2009. On this solemn location let the younger generation be inspired, motivated and encouraged by the principles, ideas of such a great visionary and follow them In their lives which is really a rich tribute to the distinguished son of Mulki , Late Sri.M.Ramakrishna Punja