Sudha Murty is an inspiration, an idealist and an optimist. She is a social worker, a teacher, an author. She is the first female engineer to be hired at India’s largest auto manufacturer, Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO). She is also the chair person of the Infosys Foundation.
She was born on 19th August, 1950 in Shiggaon Haveli, Karnataka. She is a daughter of RH Kulkarni, who was a doctor and his wife Vimala Kulkarni who was a school teacher. She was raised mainly by her parents and maternal grandparents. She came from a middle class family where books were her best friends.
She completed her Bachelor in Engineering from BVB College of Engineering and Technology, Hubli. She was the only female student in her entire college due to which she faced certain gender discriminations and hardships during her college years. The college did not have a girls washroom, her classmates did not treat her equally, they would also not share notes with her. She soon realised the need to be independent about everything in life. She pursued her Masters in Technology in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She secured the first position in her class and received a gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers. During her placement years, she came across a vacancy in TELCO where the requirement was “men only”. This ticked her off and she proved the power of words where she wrote a letter to the company’s chairman JRD Tata complaining about the gender discrimination. Her letter was addressed quickly and soon she got a call for a special interview and she was hired for her intelligence and hard working nature by the same company, where she became the first female engineer.
She met Mr. Narayan Murty at TELCO and they got married in 1978. They worked hard in their early years and Mr. Murty also had a vision to fulfill his passion where he established Infosys. Sudha Murty supported him fully and encouraged him during his rookie days. She also helped him financially to set up the company and took full responsibility of the house and the children while working as a professor at the PG centre of Bangalore university. She showed complete devotion towards her work and was awarded as the best teacher in 1995 by the Rotary Club of Karnataka.
Pertaining to her care and love for the society, she established the Infosys foundation in 1996 which is a Non profit organisation aimed to help the unprivileged sections of the society in education, arts and culture, healthcare and so on. It also aims to rural development and destitute care. The organisation has been working tremendously towards bringing a change and has so far established 70,000 libraries for schools and 10,000 toilets in rural areas in Bangalore. It has helped rehabilitation and build 2300 and more flooded houses during the floods.
Growing up with books and developing constant interest in reading and writing, she started writing in Kannada which is her mother tongue and later in English and is known for her renowned style as an author, depicting real life lessons and experiences through short stories in a very simple language which is easy to comprehend. Some of her famous books are –
- Wise and otherwise
- Dollar bahu
- Three thousand stitches
To add a little on her passion for writing, she received RK Narayan’s award for literature in 2006.
To practice gratitude and compassion, Sudha Murty visits Raghvendra Swami Temple every year where she cleans the kitchen, buys from street vendors and washes utensils there. She knows her responsibilities and duties towards her work and the society and tries to give back something. She also has been awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2006. Despite this, she lives a simple life. She doesn’t hold wealth as a higher factor and material goals do not bother her. She finds peace and happiness in helping and bettering people’s life and bringing a change in the women’s status today. She has changed and touched the lives of many and continues to do so. Her success and compassion shows boundless possibilities and gives hope to a better society.
Image: MAthrubhumi English
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge