While cuddling cozy under your favorite comforter on a chilly monsoon night, how many of us think about the homeless who sleep on the streets? How many of us think of the hungry when we enjoy a five-star dinner and still waste the food? Well, the answer would be very few. Even if the thought of the underprivileged comes to our mind and we feel bad about it, very few of us try to do something about that thought. This is not just the case of a middle-class person but also of many who are either born or are living with a silver spoon in their mouth. Luckily, there are some people who go out of their way to help the society, and become an inspiration for the rest of the world. Padma Shri Sudha Murthy, Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, is one among these golden hearts.
Sudha Murthy is also a teacher and an author who writes in Kannada, Marathi, and English. She is one of the very few people who use their power to uplift others. She has founded many orphanages and backed several rural development programs. She is also a member of the public healthcare initiatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. However, her efforts are hardly ever praised which is why we thought it’s important for you to know about Sudha Murthy and her selfless contribution to our society. Read on to know more.
Early Life And Career
Sudha Murthy was born to surgeon Dr. R. H. Kulkarni and Vimala Kulkarni in a Madhwa family in Karnataka. She’s an Electrical and Electronics Engineer and received a gold medal from the then Chief Minister of Karnataka for coming first in her batch. She received another gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers when she completed her Masters in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science in flying colors. Sudha became the first woman engineer to get hired by TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), India’s largest automobile company.
Sudha Murthy’s writer life budded from her childhood experiences and her first notable work was How I Taught My Grandmother to Read & Other Stories. She has also authored many other books like The Mother I Never Knew, Three Thousand Stitches, and The Man From The Egg. In 1996, Sudha’s husband N.R. Narayana Murthy co-founded Infosys along with six other people. The foundation was built on its initial investment, the 10,000 Rupees that Sudha gave to her husband. Since then, Sudha has been the trustee of Infosys Foundation.
In 2016, the Infosys Foundation donated 10 Crores to the kins of 800 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. While announcing the decision to donate, Sudha Murthy said, “Money alone is not sufficient. We should show affection and say “we are with you.” These are all basic elements of a human being and I really feel sad about it. But how much I can do… little in my capacity I always like to do.” Her humbleness and passion for making a change and helping others is rare.
The same year, Sudha and her husband gave 40 Crores to build an operation theatre complex at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology in Bengaluru. They also gave 10 Crores for the building and renovation of two other blocks in the Institute that helped cancer patients. While speaking at an event during the time, she said, “Our goal is to serve the needy and we will assist Kidwai with its efforts. The treatment and care provided by the institution gives cancer patients a better life.”
She was a strong pillar that supported the movement to provide computers and libraries to all government schools in Karnataka. Being the avid reader she is, Sudha established ‘The Murthy Classical Library of India’ at Harvard University. Sudha and her husband love to read and they have a huge collection of around 20,000 books in two libraries! The Infosys Foundation established 60,000 libraries in Karnataka alone. Last year she donated books worth 2.5 Crores for the students of 1725 primary schools and 842 high schools in Andhra Pradesh.
Last year when the monsoon devastated Kodagu, Sudha announced contributing 25 Crores for the flood relief. Also, not many of us know that Sudha Murthy led Infosys Foundation has committed to fund the building and maintenance of the Electronic City Metro Station in Bengaluru. This extension of the metro will benefit hundreds of common people who find it difficult to reach Electronic City, an important IT concentrated area in Bangalore. It will also help with the pollution and traffic problems caused due to jammed roads that lead to the specific part of the city.
Sudha Murthy is one of the richest Indian women and she leads a simple life. In an interview, she had told that she gave up shopping for good and hasn’t bought new sarees since 21 years! Wow! That’s something not a lot of people can do. She spends her money judiciously on necessities and books that she loves to read. Did Sudha Murthy’s life inspire you? If you were in her place, will you donate a huge chunk of your earnings for the public good and lead a simple life like her? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.