Mangalore, Jan 20, 2013: He was a successful bureaucrat with an unblemished track record, who chose to don the mantle of a politician, after over three decades of government service. When JR Lobo, the senior bureaucrat, opted for voluntary retirement and joined the Congress party in July last year, several eyebrows were naturally raised. Lobo however chose to silence his detractors by stating his move was purely with an intention of serving the society, drawing inspiration from the good works done by the party.
Born in Kowdur, now known as Gurupur Kaikamba on March 3,1953, to Late Albert Lobo and Cecilia Monteiro, both teachers, John Richard Lobo had his primary schooling at Kowdur Church School. After his PUC at St Joseph’s PU College Bajpe, he graduated from St Philomena College Puttur. He later on did his B.Ed from Government College of Education, Mangalore.
Young Lobo had an ardent desire to make it to administrative service at a time when many of his peer group preferred to travel abroad in search of greener pastures. Lobo took the tougher path and emerged successful in the KAS examination and became the Tahsildar of Madikeri in 1977 at the young age of 23. Later, he went on to become the Tahsildar of Koppa, Somwarapete and Puttur. He even served as Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies, Dakshina Kannada. Every posting he held so far, had won him acclaim and his style of functioning much appreciation. Through the path of sincerity, hard work and commitment to his mission, Lobo proved to be an exemplary bureaucrat.
He has even served as Additional District Magistrate and Headquarters assistant to the then DC Bharatlal Meena from 1993 to 1997, a tenure which was a turning point in his administrative career. It was during this time that Pilikula wildlife sanctuary, considered his dream project took birth. Today, the place is attracting tourists from far and wide and has gained international recognition through the Science Park, heritage village and many more facilities, giving a much needed impetus to tourism in the region. Lobo has also served as Founder Executive Director of Pilikula, a post he held last before opting for voluntary retirement.
He was Assistant Commissioner and Sub Divisional Magistrate of Sirsi in 1997-98 and later served as Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation from 1999 to 2003 during which the city witnessed remarkable progress in terms of infrastructure development. He was also instrumental in the successful implementation of the ambitious KUDCEMP project initiated in 2003, first as Deputy Project Director and later as Joint Project Director.
Lobo has served as a member of the Regional Task Force for the Development of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi and as the Panel Member of the Administrative Training Institute Mysore. He has also been the Member of Minority Development Cell, Mangalore University.
His excellent administrative services did not go unrecognized. He received the prestigious ‘President of India Medal for the Best Officer in the Census of India-State of Karnataka’ for two consecutive censuses (1981 and 1991). The District Administration has also conferred on him the ‘Nagarika Seva Prashasti’ in the field of Civil Service during Rajyotsava-2005.
During his 35 years of civil service stretching from 1977 to 2012 J R Lobo has remained a role model both in public and in private life and he wishes to continue with the same spirit in his political life too.
Lobo is a happily married man with his better half Philomena Lobo presently working as the Principal of Government Education College Mangalore and also as the ex-officio Joint Director of Public Instruction, Govt of Karnataka. The couple has two sons Rithesh Keith and Rahul Preeth.
Now, as a Congress Member, he is tipped to be the party candidate from Mangalore South Constituency, though there is no official word as to yet. Lobo strikes a note of optimism when he says if given an opportunity he would strive to do his best for Mangalore with sincerity. He also feels his administrative experience spanning over three decades would come in handy while serving the society.