Being a woman in itself is a superpower, blessed with the power of creation of life itself, to be a woman is a thing of power and wonder. All women inspire in more than one way, some within walls and some light a spark among thousands. Sudha Murty is one such woman. A philanthropist, an inspiration, an idol.
Let’s delve into the exceptional life of Sudha Murty
The importance of education is known to all. Education played a very important role in shaping Sudha’s life as well. She did exceptionally well in her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree and emerged as a topper. She finished her BE in Electrical Engineering from B.V.B College of Engineering, Hubli, where she won a gold medal for her exceptional academic performance.
In due course of time she went to pursue her higher studies, ME in Computer Science in 1974 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and later received a gold medal from Karnataka chief minister at the time for topping both her final examinations.
Sudha has always exuded confidence which was hard to find among women those days. She was bold and cut straight to the chase. She is known for being an advocate for women’s rights and pioneering the development in the field of education. In 1960 she was reportedly the only female who applied for an engineering course in college. It might come as a shock to some but there were no women’s restrooms on the campus because back then it was considered a male domain. However, that was not enough to faze Sudha.
She once wrote to JRD Tata about an addendum that she saw while applying for a position at the TELCO addressing her disagreement with the fact that women were not considered for the job at all. She spoke of the obvious gender bias that existed even in a company as forward as the Tata’s.
It was then that she was given a special screening with a compensated roundtrip and was recruited on the spot making her the first female engineer to be employed in India. She was employed for the position of Development Engineer with India’s leading automaker, TATA, in cities such as Mumbai, Pune, and Jamshedpur.
Sudha is also known for her work as an author, she has been declared as the New York Times bestselling author, who has released over 1.5 million books, which includes a manifold range of kids’ literature, short story collections, technological books, travel guides, 24 novels, and even several nonfiction titles.
In addition to her long list of achievements in her career, she is also a doting and supportive wife. It was Sudha who gave her husband the initial investment of 10,000 from her savings when he first approached her with the concept of Infosys. She relocated to Mumbai and told him that she would support his dreams and passion and hold the fort and take care of house and living expenses for three years which was the amount of time it would take for the proposal to lift off.
In an interview with Filmfare magazine Sudha has also stated that she is obsessed with movies and that she very well thought of having a career as a film journalist. She reportedly has around 500 DVDs that she watches in her home theatre. And likes to analyze a movie in all its aspects, direction, editing, and such.
Infosys and her social work
Infosys Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the underprivileged sections of society. It is a not-for-profit initiative aimed at creating opportunities and strives towards building a more equitable society.
The foundation helps to elevate standards in the areas of education, rural development, healthcare, arts and culture, and destitute care. Through the help of the Foundation, Sudha has helped in spreading awareness about imperative issues like education, public hygiene, poverty alleviation, and such.
Sudha is also recognized as the chairperson and trustee of the Infosys Foundation. She started Infosys Foundation in 1996 with the help of her Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Since then, she has built 2300 houses in flood-affected areas through the foundation. In addition to that, she has built 7000 libraries in schools and 16,000 toilets.
Sudha’s efforts at revolutionizing the very much lacking system of education in India have been phenomenal. She supported the use of Computer Technology in educational institutions in Karnataka and even established the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI) at Harvard.
Her unwavering dedication to women’s rights and education has inspired many to take up philanthropy as a way of living. She does not make much of her money and is not guided by greed but compassion. Despite being one of the wealthiest women in the country she is extremely modest.
To quote her, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision is merely passing time. But vision and action together can change the world.”