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Former PIO Ramamohan Rao's demise a big loss to information service

By Vikas

Former Principal Information Officer to the Government of India I. Ramamohan Rao passed away at Gurgaon's Medanta Hospital on Saturday. He was 83-years-old.

He had served as a media adviser to four former prime ministers - Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, Chandrashekhar and P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Former Principal Information Officer Ramamohan Rao

He hailed from Karnataka's South Canara district and started his career with the government's Information Service in the 50s. He did extensive coverage of 1965 and 1971 wars.

He was a recipient of Dr. MV Kamath Memorial Award and had also authored a book "'Conflict Communication - Chronicles of a Communicator".

Mr. Rao's book is an inspiration for budding journalists and those in information service as he discusses in detail how sensitive government matters should be communicated to the media.

My association with him goes back to the 90s when he was the PIO and occupied an office in New Delhi's Sashtri Bhawan. I was hardly 10-years old then and can still recall how humble and down to earth he was. I have had the privilege of visiting the PIB office from a very young age as my father used to work there.

Even later during my stint at ANI, he would fondly inquire about my work and give valuable tips on how write to news items. His energy, despite being in 80s, was infectious and he was always abreast with current affairs and political developments of the country. He served as mentor and chief editor at ANI till he was bed ridden earlier this year. He regularly wrote columns and kept inspiring the young journalists there.

Mr. Rao actively took part in the activities of Delhi Karnataka Sangha and held many important positions there. He was a proud Kannadiga and people of Karnataka origin in Delhi used to look up to him with reverence.

His health started deteriorating after the untimely demise of his son Dr. Rohit Rao in 2016. Mr. Rao was shaken by Dr Rohit's demise and took him a long time to come to terms with the loss.

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