Kannada cinema's "Power Star" and celebrity television host Puneeth Rajkumar continues to lead by example even in death. The actor, who died following a massive heart attack, donated his eyes like his father - legendary south actor Dr Rajkumar - who had himself pledged his entire family's eyes back in 1994. Dr Rajkumar had also died of a heart attack on 12 April 2006 aged 76.
A team of doctors performed the procedure within a six-hour window after his death, tweeted actor Chetan Kumar Ahimsa.
"While I was at hospital to see Appu Sir, a medical group came to remove his eyes in 6-hour window after death. Appu Sir - like Dr Rajkumar & @NimmaShivanna - donated his eyes," the actor tweeted, urging everyone to donate "following in their footsteps & in Appu Sir's memory".
While I was at hospital to see Appu Sir, a medical group came to remove his eyes in 6-hour window after death— Chetan Kumar Ahimsa / ಚೇತನ್ ಅಹಿಂಸಾ (@ChetanAhimsa) October 29, 2021
Appu Sir—like Dr Rajkumar & @NimmaShivanna—donated his eyes
Following in their footsteps & in Appu Sir's memory, we must all pledge to donate our #eyes as well
I do so pic.twitter.com/MsNAv5zGZC
Puneeth Rajkumar, a fitness enthusiast, was rushed to Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru after he complained of chest pain following a two-hour workout in the gym, doctors treating him said. He died shortly after. He is survived by his wife Ashwini Revanth and two daughters Dhriti and Vanditha.
Stunned fans swarmed to the hospital complex as news came in of the sudden death of the actor who fast outgrew his father's shadow to make a place for himself in the Kannada showbiz industry.
Condolences at the death of the actor poured in from political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his colleagues in the southern film industry as well as those in Bollywood - their messages echoing his legions of fans grieving the hero who had gone too soon.
A sea of grieving fans poured into Bengaluru's Kanteerava Stadium Friday evening to pay last respects to their idol. A state government order said the actor's last rites will be performed at the Kanteerava Studio where his parents' Dr Rajkumar and Parvathamma were cremated.
The last rites will be performed on Sunday, as the family awaits the arrival of his daughter, who lives abroad.