From reuniting families to saving the planet: The inspiring work of Ismail

09:43 AM Jun 16, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Ismail Kanantur, a resident of Balepuni Navagram near Mudipu, may have only a first-grade education and work as a scrap dealer, but his ambitions go far beyond. His mission? To champion social service and environmental protection. With a focus on education, cleanliness, and creating a model village, Ismail is turning heads and making a difference.


Whenever there is an issue or accident in the Mudipu area, he quickly comes to the aid of those in need. He owns a scrap shop in Kallupete where he also sells flowers, but his involvement in social activities extends beyond the store.

Rain Harvesting, Solar Energy, and Composting at Home!

Ismail’s house is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system, a solar lamp, and a straightforward composting method for green and dry waste. Additionally, he has an orchard with over 20 varieties of fruit plants. Ismail is able to support all of these initiatives through his scrap shop, where he repurposes old fridges, washing machines, pipe pieces, table lamps, and vehicle spare parts.

Giving a new life for “Mohan”!


One day, Ismail saw a bearded man walking around naked near his shop. The man didn’t respond to any questions, so Ismail comforted him and gave him tea. Eventually, the man said his name was Mohan and that he was from Idukki.

Ismail bathed him, trimmed his beard, and clothed him. After contacting the Idukki police station, Ismail learned that Mohan was from a house near the station.

Mohan, who was diagnosed with a psychological ailment, had been admitted to Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru. He had run away from the hospital and his relatives, who, after searching for him unsuccessfully, assumed he had died. Mohan wandered for two years before meeting Ismail, who helped reunite him with his family.

“Library” from Rubbish!

Ismail, who is in his fifties, takes care of his mother. He picks out the best books from the discarded pile and gives them to local children. He has created a small library which now has over 2,000 books.

‘I live for the welfare of society’

“After completing 1st grade, I worked on the farm with my mother. Later, I joined a company in Bangalore and eventually started a fruit business. On the advice of Basavaraja Palakki, the principal of Mudipu School, I opened a scrap store. I have been involved in many local associations and organizations, including the school development committee. I have helped many children graduate. The guidance of Sheena Shetty, director of Jan Shikshan Trust, and Krishna Moolya inspires me. The welfare of society is my life,” says Ismail Kanantur.

Hundreds of Stories!

There are hundreds of anectodoes about Ismail’s good deeds:

  • Ismail collects plastic waste from roadsides and clears waste piles.
  • He raises awareness about the harmful effects of plastic by going door to door and also collects dry waste in rural areas.
  • Ismail has planted trees in numerous locations and built small reservoirs.
  • When the HooHakuvakallu school faced a vegetable shortage for mid-day meal scheme, he grew vegetables in the school’s garden.
  • He dug a well with the help of locals to address a water shortage.
  • He provided a solar lamp to a household without electricity with the support of the Selco Foundation/Jan Shikshana Trust.
  • Ismail helped students with their studies and gathered funds for the marriage of underprivileged girls.
  • Additionally, he assisted disabled patients by gathering aid from donors.

Translated from a Kannada article by Dinesh Ira


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