Tuesday, 22 October 2013

This is the Story of Mukesh Harane


Gutka Mukesh, a name that is on everyone's lips today. Gutka Mukesh, born Mukesh Harane was a 24-year old matriculate hailing from Bhusawal, Maharashtra. The emaciated face of Mukesh has been the face of the Oral Cancer campaigns in India for the last couple of years.

The sickly boy who died as a result of his Tobacco addiction is the Union Health Ministry's message to youngsters of India. A small town boy who arrives in the big city for a livelihood and falls prey to this evil addiction, Mukesh was the ideal prototype for the message the Health Ministry intended to send out.

The now popular audio-visual clip that featured Mukesh as the terminal Oral Cancer victim was shot just prior to his surgery. Mukesh had lost his speech capabilities and died shortly after. However, his legacy is the No-Tobacco campaign of the government. Every Indian today knows Mukesh from the ad that plays prior to every movie in the country. Language, age and gender none of these are a barrier as Mukesh has reached them all.
Emotion of their family:
His family gave the ministry an unconditional "go-ahead" to use the visuals and pictures of Mukesh. However, Mukesh's younger brother adds that it is sometimes painful to see the image of his sickly brother staring at him from billboards and posters. Mukesh was repentant of his addiction till the very final moments. His family refused any payment of any kind for using Mukesh's visuals for their campaign. Having lost their sole breadwinner was painful enough, no amount money would be able to fill that gap.

Today, Mukesh is not just another addict. He is a symbol. He is a beacon. He is a warning to the youth of this country that seemingly innocent addictions can cause major ripples in one's life. Mukesh's final wish to be the one who can deter others from taking up tobacco is being fulfilled in this way. Mukesh is now a viral celebrity. Different people have different approach strategies with their anti-tobacco campaigns. Whichever way, Mukesh would be happy if his name can cause even person to quit tobacco each day.

About the Author

teja kilaru

Author & Editor

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