Brilliant, Brave & Badass, Sudha Murthy: – An Iconic Women, Philanthropist, and Author

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she is an inventor... a leader... because she is inventing the future of those at the fringes of survival in India, slowly changing their what-is to what-could-be.
she is an inventor... a leader... because she is inventing the future of those at the fringes of survival in India, slowly changing their what-is to what-could-be.

They show in movies that women who sport black clothing, wacky hairdo, tattoos and pull off crazy stunts are badass, but do they know that a woman dressed in a simple cotton dhoti can be a total badass in real life? Mother Teresa was one of those women. And Padma Shri Sudha Murthy is yet another name that goes on that list.

Ms Murthy is all women in one. She is a determined doer, a globetrotter, a resilient social worker, a brilliant engineer, a homemaker, an author and she keeps adding more roles to her persona. She faced difficult choices when it was a man-only tech world, she was daring enough to flaunt a bob haircut in the late 60s, which was in itself a scandal back then, and later on became a significant part and the backbone of Infosys.

Mrs Murty is many things… She is a great seeker, incurable dreamer, tireless doer, passionate teacher, eternal student, storyteller, story lover, selfless giver, childlike life enthusiast, engineer, homemaker… and so very human. But above all, she is an inventor… a leader… because she is inventing the future of those at the fringes of survival in India, slowly changing their what-is to what-could-be.

Early Life– Sudha Kulkarni Murthy

Sudha Kulkarni Murthy was born to Dr R.H. Kulkarni and Vimala Kulkarni in Shiggaon, Karnataka.  Sudha Murthy had done her BE in Electrical Engineering from B.V.B College of Engineering and Technology. She obtained first in her class and received the gold medal from the then Karnataka Chief Minister, Sri Devaraj Urs. After completing her studies, she pursued M.E. in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Science. She obtained the gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers for coming first.

The first female engineer – Career graph of Sudha Murthy

Mr Murthy became the first female engineer hired India’s largest auto manufacturer TELCO (Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) now Tata motors. She worked as Development Engineer in various locations like Pune, Mumbai, and Jamshedpur. She had raised the issue of ‘men-only” gender bias problems in the company. The Chairman of TELCO noted her issue and called her for a special interview.

She then worked as Senior System Analyst in Walchand group of Industries in Pune. After being in Pune from 1974- 1981, Sudha Murthy moved to Mumbai. Sudha Murthy had contributed her Rs. 10,000 saving to the firm Infosys, in the founding of the company. In 1996 she started with the Infosys Foundation and continues to be a Trustee of Infosys Foundation. She still loves teaching hence pursue her interest in providing knowledge and training to students in PG Center of Bangalore University as Visiting Professor as well in taught in Christ College.

Personal Life

While working in TELCO in Pune, she met her soul mate Mr. Narayana Murthyand they got married. They have two kids Akshata and Rohan. She is the pillar for the success of Infosys Foundation. She is still associated with her husband to build up the company.

Social Commitments

Sudha Murthy is famous for many of philanthropist works.  She aims to empower women. She spreads the awareness of rural education, public hygiene, poverty alleviation and much more. She imbibes the need to maintain clean India, hence building up toilets for the public. She has been passionate in helping people in flood affected areas too.

Sudha Murthy and her writings

Being an Author, Mrs. Murthy has published many stories. Her writing had a flavor of common lives. She wrote on hospitality, her childhood, realizing views on donations and charity. Many of her Kannada books got translated into English and some got adapted into TV series.  Many of her works were children’s series. Sudha Murthy is a bountiful fiction author in Kannada as well English. Most of her publications were through Penguin. Some of the famous ones in Kannada were

  • Dollar Sose
  • Kaveri inda Mekaanige
  • Runa
  • Hakkiya Teradalli
  • Gutthondu Heluve

One of her famous work was the “How I taught my grandmother to read and other stories “. The book was translated into 15 other languages. It reflects her childhood association with her paternal grandparents. Her first novel titled House of Cards narrates the turmoil faced by the wife of a lucrative doctor.

Awards and Recognitions – to name a few

From the start of her education, she had won many prestigious awards. Sudha Murthy got recognized for the Raja-Lakshmi award by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in Chennai in 2004. She won the award for her outstanding performance is Social works. She won the Padma Shri, the fourth highest ranking official as per the Government of India and even obtained a doctorate for her publications.

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