Mumbai: Ad man Gerson da Cunha, a multi-faceted personality very passionate about civic activism in later years, died on Friday. He was 92.
Da Cunha, who started his career as a journalist working for the Press Trust of India after graduating in science and then jumped into advertising, was associated with a slew of platforms engaged in civic activism, including AGNI (Action for Good Governance and Networking in India).
In his long career spanning 25 years, he worked with Hindustan Unilever and later headed the Lintas ad agency, among the biggest in the media industry in those days and he launched the famed 'Dalda' brand ads, a household name at one point.
Simultaneously, he worked on theatre and Bollywood films like "Electric Moon", "Cotton Mary", "Asoka", "Water", and others, and subsequently, post-retirement took to the social field.
He was associated with UNICEF, worked with it in the US and South America, and after returning to India, was involved with NGOs like the AGNI, Mumbai First, and helped the Mumbaikars affected by the 1992-1993 communal riots.
Over the years, da Cunha also served as an advisor to the Central Health and Tourism ministries for their public projects, besides other private, semi-government and social institutions in different capacities.
Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said: "Sad to learn of the passing, at age 93, of a giant of Bombay's English-language theatre, @GersonDacunha." "In my childhood I watched him on the stage in many plays: his Othello was unforgettable. Till the last, his presence, voice & aura remained formidable. RIP," he added.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)