The ever smiling, quietly efficient Mario Noronha
It is with great sorrow that Charkha announces the passing away of Mario Noronha, 55, CEO of Charkha Communication Development Network, on April 24 due to Covid-19. He leaves behind his wife, Melvina, daughters Michelle and Melissa and son Maxim, the youngest of the siblings, who is in class 10.
Joining Charkha in 2012 and rising to the position of CEO in 2015, Mario strengthened its communication work in Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand, empowering aspiring journalists and development activists through writing skills to access government facilities and entitlements at the grassroots. Ever smiling and patient, he stayed in touch with young writers and ensured that they continued to contribute to Charkha’s growth with features, photographs and videos.
As his predecessor at Charkha, Anshu Meshack points out, “dependable, unhurried, consistent” were the traits that define the quality of Mario’s contribution to Charkha. There was nothing you couldn’t go to ‘Mario-sir’ with, knowing he’d fix it, somehow. When he joined, Charkha was growing chaotically with multi-location projects backed by large grants and stringent management requirements. He quickly – and quietly – used his administrative skills to create systems and processes that proved invaluable over the years.
“Mario had a certain old-world grace that endeared him to everyone. He was a dedicated family man, who once unabashedly confessed that his better half, Melvina, was his strength and anchor. The unflinching values he lived by enriched Charkha, and all those who had the pleasure of working with him. The world is poorer without him”.
For Kiran Agarwal, former Secretary, Women and Child Development. GOI and former member of the Charkha Board, Mario was the mainstay of Charkha who will be missed by the entire Charkha family and all those who he came in touch with.
After finishing school in Jabalpur, Mario did a course in hotel management and worked with Maurya and Taj hotels in Delhi before joining the Canadian High Commission in its HR department. Eager to do something on his own, he opened and even ran a cold storage for over a year before moving to the Delhi School of Communication as a lecturer. He travelled extensively giving practical lessons on communication. His wife, Melvina, says “Mario wanted to do something for the people”. As secretary of the All India Catholic Federation and the local parish council, he was eager to get into a sector where he could serve people. This craving was fulfilled when he joined Charkha in 2012. His weekends were spent working for the church. Anyone in the church fraternity who fell sick or wanted help, would turn to Mario. The rest of the time, his life revolved around Charkha.
With Melvina having long working hours, it was Mario who took on the responsibilities of running the home – and his culinary skills came in handy. The family was looking forward to the wedding of Michelle, a physiotherapist, later this year.