Udupi’s ‘railway man’ RL Dias passes away | Mangaluru News – Times of India


UDUPI: Robert Louis Dias fondly known as “Dias Sir” president Railway Yatri Sangha (RYS), Udupi for more than two decades, passed away at a private hospital on Wednesday after brief illness. He was 88.
Dias is survived by his wife, four daughters, one son and lakhs of admirers for his work done to ease sufferings of railway commuters. His funeral will be held at Manipal Christ Church on Sunday.
Dias, donned many hats in the sphere of social work, associations and consumer activism, but he was known for his dedication for the cause of railway passengers.
As President of RYS, Dias had a passion, call it more of an obsession, working overtime for the cause of Railway passengers of Konkan Railway and also joining hands with Railway authorities to augment various facilities to the Railway Stations, especially Udupi Station.
Dias served many organizations in various capacities like the Retired Forest Officers Association of Udupi and DK, Manipal Multipurpose Co-operative Society (Janatha Bazaar), Consumer Forum Parkala and Ex-Servicemen Association of Udupi for many years.
RYS, Udupi, was started with only 10 committed members in 2002. Now has increased strength and has a long list of commendable achievements. Dias with all his amenable approach and persuasive skills got many things done in the Konkan Railway for Udupi and nearby stations. But he was disheartened with the Railway Minister’s “illogical step” of extending the train No: 6517 from Yeshwantpur –Mysore-Mangalore to Kannur , instead of Karwar (now the train is bifurcated to cater to Kannur as well as Karwar).
Dias, born in Navur village near Bantwal, in a wealthy Catholic family, after his Matriculation from SVS High School Bantwal, joined for FA (Intermediate) at St Aloysius College, Mangaluru. When an Army selection Board was camping at Mangaluru, the young Dias made an attempt to join the Forces without the permission of his parents and succeeded. Dias was taken to Nasik Road Army Camp when he got selected as Technical Assistant in Artillery. While Dias was further training and after promotion as an officer, he had to cut short his Army life for family emergencies. The state government offered a post of Range Forest Officer.
Dias, was always proud of being the first RFO posted in Udupi in 1960 .Though he had special love for his home village Navur and Bantwal, he had made Udupi his second home after marrying Judith from Kallianpur. He always felt , both the Army and State Government were considerate to him as he was enjoying special pension clubbing up both the services, though he regrets he was not rewarded with any promotion in Forest Services.
However, he was driven to social work and public service, after he retired from the service in 1991. Dias had told TOI: “If anybody approaches me with a problem, that means, the person thinks that I’m capable of solving that. Hence, we should dedicate to them and God always shows the right path. We should not expect any sort of returns whether monetary or otherwise, when we do social work .That is my mission.”
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Sagar Biswas

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