Sudha Murthy in 2010
19 August 1950
Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
|Residence||Bangalore, Karnataka, India|
BVB College of Engineering|
Indian Institute of Science
|Occupation||Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, Writer (Kannada/English)|
|Spouse(s)||N.R. Narayana Murthy|
Sudha Murthy (also spelled Murty; née Kulkarni on 19 August 1950) is an Indian philanthropist and writer in Kannada and English.
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. 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 Murthy Classical Library of India' at Harvard University. Murthy initiated a bold move to introduce computer and library facilities in all schools in Karnataka & taught computer science. She got "Best Teacher Award" in 1995 from Rotary Club at Bangalore. Murthy is best known for her social work and her contribution to literature in Kannada and English. Dollar Bahu (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. Murthy has also acted in the Marathi film Pitruroon and the Kannada film Prarthana.
Early life & education
Sudha Murthy was born into a Madhwa family on 19 August 1950 in Shivamogga in Karnataka, India, the daughter of surgeon Dr. R. H. Kulkarni and his wife Vimala Kulkarni. She 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. 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. Murthy completed 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.
Murthy became the first female engineer hired at India's largest auto manufacturer TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO). Murthy joined the company as a Development Engineer in Pune and then worked in Mumbai & Jamshedpur as well. 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 later joined Walchand Group of Industries at Pune as Senior Systems Analyst.
In 1996, she started Infosys Foundation & till date has been the Trustee of Infosys Foundation and a Visiting Professor at the PG Center of Bangalore University. She also taught at Christ College. She has written and published many books, of which two are travelogues, two technical books, six novels and three educative books.
Two institutions of higher learning, the H.R. Kadim Diwan Building housing the Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) department at IIT Kanpur and the Narayan Rao Melgiri Memorial National Law Library at NLSIU, were both endowed and inaugurated by the Infosys Foundation.
- Gold Medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers, India for having secured the I Rank in M.Tech. of all the branches of Engineering
- Gold Medal from the Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Devaraj Urs, for securing the highest marks in B.E. of all the Universities of Engineering in Karnataka
- Cash award for having secured the highest marks in SSLC
- C S Desai Prize for standing first in the University Exams of Karnataka
- Youth Service Department Prize from Government of Karnataka, for having been the outstanding engineering student of Karnataka
- 1995: Best Teacher Award in 1995 from the Rotary Club of Bangalore
- National Award from Public Relation Society of India for outstanding Social Service to the Society
- ‘Attimabbe’ award for her technical book in Kannada (Shaale Makkaligagi Computer – meaning computers for school children)
- Award for Excellent Social Service by Rotary South – Hubli
- 2000: ‘Karnataka Rajyotsava’ State Award for the year 2000, for achievement in the field of literature and social work
- 2001: ‘Ojaswini’ award for excellent social work for the year 2000
- ‘Millenium Mahila Shiromani’ award
- 2002: Voted as Woman of the Year by RadioCity [Bangalore FM station] on International Women’s Day
- 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.
- 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. \
- 2006: She also received the R.K. Narayana's Award for Literature.
- 2011: Murthy was conferred honorary LL.D (Doctor of Laws) degrees for their contributions to promote formal legal education and scholarship in India.
- 2013: Basava Shree-2013 Award was presented to Narayan Murthy & Sudha Murthy for their contributions to society at Basaveshwara Medical College auditorium. Basava Shree award comprises a plaque and a cheque of `5 lakh, Sudha Murthy handed over award money to an orphanage run by the mutt.
2018: Murthy received the Life Time Achievement Award at the Crossword-Raymond Book Awards.
Sudha Murthy married N.R. Narayana Murthy while employed as an engineer at TELCO in Pune. The couple have two children Akshata and Rohan. Her daughter Akshata married Rishi Sunak, her classmate from Stanford, a British Indian. He is a partner at a hedge-fund involved in charity in the UK.
In an interview with the Filmfare magazine, Mrs. Murthy said “I have 500 DVDs that I watch in my home theatre. I see a film in totality – its direction, editing… all aspects. People know me as a social worker, as an author… but no one knows me as a movie buff. That’s why I am glad to do this interview with Filmfare”. The cineaste, who even went to the extent of watching 365 films in 365 days confides, “I could have actually become a film journalist. I never get bored of movies!” In an installation ceremony of chairpersons of Ficci Ladies Organisation (FLO), Murthy said the advice she got from J.R.D.Tata when she left her job to assist her husband Narayana Murthy to startup company Infosys which changed her life. He told her to remember that no one was owner of money. “You are only trustee of money and it always changes hands. When you are successful, give it back to society that gave you so much goodwill”.
Murthy’s social work covers the healthcare, education, empowerment of women, public hygiene, art and culture, and poverty alleviation at the grassroots level. Her vision of a library for each school has resulted in the setting up of 50,000 libraries so far. She is helping out rural areas by building 10,000 public toilets and several hundred toilets in the city of Bangalore. Infosys Foundation is a public charitable trust founded in 1996 and Murthy is one of the trustees. Through Foundation she has built 2,300 houses in the flood affected areas. She has handled national natural disasters like tsunami in Tamil Nadu and Andaman, earthquake in Kutch – Gujarat, hurricane and floods in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and drought in Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Government of Karnataka awarded her the prestigious literary award, the ‘Attimabbe Award’ –for her literary work for the year 2011–12.
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 and Gently Falls the Bakula. Marathi movie 'Pitruroon' is based on a story by Sudha Murthy.
- Samanyaralli Asamanyaru
- Kaveri Inda Mekaangige
- Guttondu Heluve
- Manada Matu
- Dollar Sose
- Makkaligagi – Nanna Mechina Kathegalu (children's stories)
- Hakkiya Teradalli (travelogue)
- Shalamakkaligagi Computer
- Sukeshini Mattu Itara Makkala Kathegalu
- Computer Lokadalli
- The Serpent's Revenge
- How I Taught My Grandmother to Read
- Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
- The Old Man and His God: Discovering the Spirit of India
- The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk
- Wise and Otherwise
- Gently Falls the Bakula
- The Accolades Galore
- The Bird with Golden Wings: Stories of Wit and Magic
- Dollar Bahu
- Grandma's Bag of Stories (children's fiction)
- The Magic Drum And Other Favourite Stories (children's stories)
- House of Cards
- The Mother I Never Knew (two novellas)
- Three thousand stitches
- The Man from the Egg
- Here, There, Everywhere
- Ratan Tata, Rahul Dravid on Gates Foundation board Archived 22 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. tata.com (15 July 2003). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Gates Foundation's AIDS initiative launched. The Hindu (6 December 2003). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Sudha Murthy: Humility personified. Business-standard.com (23 January 2011). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Vinita Chaturvedi (18 October 2011) I'm enjoying my acting stint: Sudha Murthy. Times Of India.
- Home | The Murty Classical Library of India. Murtylibrary.com. Retrieved on 31 May 2013.
- The Sunday Tribune – Spectrum – Article. Tribuneindia.com (30 September 2001). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- About Mrs. Narayan Murthy. Nipun.charityfocus.org (10 February 1978). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Sudha Murthy | The Woman Behind | Narayan Murthy Wife Archived 15 July 2012 at Archive.is. Living.oneindia.in (17 August 2011). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- "Presenting Harmony's silvers - sparkling lives, success stories, accounts of endurance, courage, grit and passion". harmonyindia.org. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- New CSE Building, IIT Kanpur Archived 2 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. Iitk.ac.in. Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Infosys chief Narayan Murthy rejects govt offer – Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (4 January 2002). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Karnataka / Bangalore News : Director thanks Dharam Singh. The Hindu (29 August 2005). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- National : Raja-Lakshmi Award for Sudha Murty. The Hindu (15 August 2004). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Honorary doctorates for seven eminent personalities. The Hindu (4 September 2006). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Santosh Hegde, Sudha Murthy to be conferred honorary doctorate. Deccanherald.com. 1 March 2010.
- Narayana Murthy, Sudha Receive Basava Shree Award. newindianexpress.com. 3 February 2014.
- JRD's words inspired me in philanthropy: Sudha Murthy Archived 22 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. tata.com (23 October 2002). Retrieved on 8 December 2011.
- Raggi Mudde (1 October 2007) The Philanthropist and Infoscion – Sudha Murty. Karnataka.com. Retrieved on 31 May 2013.
- Farhana Farook (6 January 2014) "I watched 365 films in one year" – Sudha Murthy. filmfare.com.Retrieved on 30May2014.
- Women should believe in themselves: Sudha Murthy. The Hindu. 17 July 2011
- Sudha Murthy. Csrvision.in. 11 October 2013
- "The magic drum and other favourite stories". New Delhi Puffin Books. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
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