To begin with I am a girl of 11 with a passion to read. I have kissed the books of Roald Dahl, slept with Ruskin Bond’s ones, kept away from Jim Corbett’s and imagined to be Enid Blyton’s characters. But my main and most interesting hobby is to read and re-read. My favourite writer is also my role model. Can you guess who it is? It is none other than Ms Sudha Murty. Sudha Kulkarni (her maiden name) was born to a respectable middle class family in a village in North Karnataka. Her family was mostly a teaching family. Even my grandparents were teachers in their times!
By reading Ms Sudha Murty’s books, I have learnt that she was a curious child and liked listening to stories. Sometimes, I imagine being Ms Sudha in her childhood. Ms Sudha has mentioned in one of her interviews that she was very independent and people used to say, ‘My God she is a girl! But see’. She even refused to have a maid at home after giving birth to two children. In my age and for my grade, even I ensure that I study well and I am not being spoon fed by teachers at school or parents at home with my studies. She was also quite a meritorious student and secured the first rank and bagged a gold medal in 1972 in BVB Engineering College. I try to work hard and secure good marks in school. While doing her last semester in MTech, she read an advertisement saying that young and bright engineers can apply with a footnote saying ‘Lady candidates need not apply’.
Instead of being cowed down, she immediately wrote to TELCO and was successful in getting a job. This shows how bold she was despite being a woman. Ms Sudha Murty is also a devoted teacher and likes teaching but does not want to be paid, as then she would have to correct papers. Her first student was her own grandmother who was determined to learn to read and write Kannada. Ms Sudha gained inspiration from her 62-year old grandmother when she was 12 and I am getting inspired by Ms Sudha when she is 64 and I am 11. Ms Sudha Murty is also the chairperson of Infosys Foundation. Well, the idea of Infosys was of Narayana Murthy and six of his friends but the seed of Infosys was given by Ms Sudha through ten thousand rupees from her savings for a rainy day.
Ms Sudha Murty is quite active for her age. She writes columns and essays too. She has slept at bus stands and platforms and thus realized that poverty is not because of lack of money but lack of confidence. She cares for leprosy and HIV patients and even sex workers. She also supports education in rural and remote areas. Apart from this, it is great that Ms Sudha Murty also finds time to write books. She is an ardent reader too and loves books. In her way a house without a library shows that the people there are poor even if they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. She had promised her grandfather that she will donate books to at least one library.
But today, through Infosys, she has donated books to more than 10,000 libraries. For her contribution in various fields she has received many awards the notable ones are the Padma Shri award as well as R K Narayana’s award for literature in 2006. “To face difficulties, education and financial independence are just tools, but one must develop confidence throughout life” says Ms Sudha. It’s not because of Ms Sudha Murty’s success that I want to become like her, but it’s because of her greatness with her simplicity and humility. And I pray to God to bless her with a long and healthy life to do more philanthropic work and of course write more books!