Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar died suddenly on October 28 after suffering cardiac arrest and was laid to rest besides his late parents in Kanteerava Studios in Bengaluru. After his demise, a pall of gloom presided over the city and many fans of the late actor were seen paying tribute to him in their own way, by putting up his smiling posters on city walls or by blaring his songs while driving cars.
A report in Indian Express has stated that Puneeth’s memorial is being visited by 30,000 people on an average per day ever since he was laid to rest on Oct 31. His fans have continued to throng to Kanteerava to pay their respects defying rain. Around 300 cops, including Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and Bengaluru city police, have been deployed for 12-hour shifts a day. The police have allowed the public to visit the studio between 9 am and 6 pm which is located on Outer Ring Road (ORR). City police on Friday helped many parents who were holding toddlers in line during rain.
Puneeth’s noble gesture to donate his eyes has also created a sort of movement of eye donation in Karnataka. The eye donation which was badly hit by the Covid pandemic has gained momentum once again after the untimely demise of Puneeth, which was widely discussed in media and the good word has spread from mouth to mouth dispelling all hesitation regarding eye donation.
Dr Bhujanga Shetty, founder of Narayana Nethralaya, who collected the eyes of Puneeth and successfully transplanted them to four persons, informed IANS that the gesture of the actor has created a lot of awareness among people about eye donation.
“As many as 1,500 people have come forward and pledged their eyes in four to five days. About families of 16 deceased people have actually donated eyes of their dear ones, which is a record by itself,” he said.