Sudha Murthy

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Sudha Murthy
Born Sudha Kulkarni
(1950-08-19) 19 August 1950 (age 63)
Shiggaon, Karnataka, India
Residence Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Citizenship India
Alma mater BVB College of Engineering
Indian Institute of Science
Occupation Chairperson, Infosys Foundation
Spouse(s) N.R. Narayana Murthy

Sudha Murthy (also spelled Sudha Murty; née Kulkarni born on 19 August 1950) is an Indian social worker and author. Murthy began her professional career as a computer scientist and engineer. She is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation and a member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation.[1][2] She has founded several orphanages, participated in rural development efforts, supported the movement to provide all Karnataka government schools with computer and library facilities, and established the 'The Murthy Classical Library of India' at Harvard University.[3][4][5] Murthy also teaches computer science and composes fiction. Dollar Sose (English: Dollar Daughter-in-Law), a novel originally authored by her in Kannada and later translated into English as Dollar Bahu, was adapted as a televised dramatic series by Zee TV in 2001.[6] Murthy has also acted in Marathi film Pitruroon and Kannada film Prarthana.

Early life[edit]

Sudha Murthy born in Shiggaon in northern Karnataka, India. The daughter of a famous surgeon Dr. R.H. Kulkarni, Murty and her siblings were raised by her parents and maternal grandparents. These childhood experiences form the historical basis for her first notable work entitled How I Taught my Grandmother to Read & Other Stories.[7] Two institutions of higher learning, the H.R. Kadim Diwan Building housing the Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) department at IIT Kanpur[8][9] and the Narayan Rao Melgiri Memorial National Law Library at NLSIU,[10] were both endowed and inaugurated by the Infosys Foundation.

Murthy completed a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the B.V.B. College of Engineering & Technology, standing first in her class and receiving a gold medal from the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Thereafter, she completed an M.E. in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Science, standing first in her class and receiving a gold medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers.[11]

After graduation, Murthy became the first female engineer hired at India's largest auto manufacturer TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company or TELCO. Murthy had written a postcard to the company's Chairman complaining of the "men only" gender bias at TELCO. As a result, she was granted a special interview and hired immediately. She met N.R. Narayana Murthy while employed as an engineer at TELCO in Pune, and the two got married.[12]

Infosys Foundation[edit]

Sudha Murthy.jpg

Murthy heads as the chairperson of Infosys Foundation as well as the seed investor behind Infosys and venture capital firm Catamaran Ventures.[13]


In 2004, Murthy was presented with the Raja-Lakshmi Award "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to social work" by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in Chennai.[14]

In 2006, Murthy was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest-ranking civilian award from the Government of India, and received an honorary doctorate for her contributions in the spheres of social work, philanthropy, and education.[15] She also received the R.K. Narayana's Award for Literature the same year.

In 2011, Murthy was conferred honorary LL.D (Doctor of Laws) degrees for their contributions to promote formal legal education and scholarship in India.[16]


Murthy is a prolific fiction author in Kannada and English. She has published several books, mainly through Penguin, that espouse her philosophical views on charity, hospitality and self-realization through fictional narratives. Some of her notable books in Kannada are Dollar Sose, Runa, Kaveri inda Mekaangige, Hakkiya Teradalli, Athirikthe, Guttondu Heluve. The book How I Taught My Grandmother to Read & Other Stories has been translated into 15 languages including Hindi, Marathi and Assamese. Her latest book is The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk. Other notable books by her are Wise and Otherwise, Old Man and his God,The Magic Drum And Other Favourite Stories[17] and Gently Falls the Bakula.[18] Marathi movie 'Pitruroon' is based on a story by Sudha Murthy.


  1. ^ Ratan Tata, Rahul Dravid on Gates Foundation board. (15 July 2003). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  2. ^ Gates Foundation's AIDS initiative launched. The Hindu (6 December 2003). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  3. ^ Sudha Murthy: Humility personified. (23 January 2011). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ I'm enjoying my acting stint: Sudha Murthy – Times Of India. Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  5. ^ Home | The Murty Classical Library of India. Retrieved on 31 May 2013.
  6. ^ The Sunday Tribune – Spectrum – Article. (30 September 2001). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  7. ^ About Mrs. Narayan Murthy. (10 February 1978). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  8. ^ New CSE Building, IIT Kanpur. Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  9. ^ Infosys chief Narayan Murthy rejects govt offer – Times Of India. (4 January 2002). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  10. ^ Karnataka / Bangalore News : Director thanks Dharam Singh. The Hindu (29 August 2005). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  11. ^ Sudha Murthy | The Woman Behind | Narayan Murthy Wife. (17 August 2011). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  12. ^ JRD's words inspired me in philanthropy: Sudha Murthy. (23 October 2002). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  13. ^ Sudha Murthy sells shares to fund Catamaran. Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  14. ^ National : Raja-Lakshmi Award for Sudha Murty. The Hindu (15 August 2004). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  15. ^ Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Honorary doctorates for seven eminent personalities. The Hindu (4 September 2006). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  16. ^ Santosh Hegde, Sudha Murthy to be conferred honorary doctorate. Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
  17. ^ "The magic drum and other favourite stories". New Delhi Puffin Books. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Sudha Murty | Sudha Murthy | Infosys Foundation. (1 October 2007). Retrieved on 31 May 2013.