MOKSHAGUNDAM VISVESVARAYA:THE TRUE BHARAT RATNA
He is a man who needs no introduction. Such a wonderful person with principles and values and he set standards for our future generation. He is none other than MokshagundamVisvesvaraya. Every Indian should feel elated remembering about him and so we honored him by naming his birthday as Engineer’s day.
Who knows a little baby born on 15th September 1861 in a small village named Muddenahalli of Mysore state will turn into a Bharat Ratna and a meaningful engineer? He was born into a Telugu Brahmin family and his parents were SrinivasaSastry and Venkachamma. Though they were poor they decided to educate the little boy. From his parents, he learnt respect for the culture and traditions of the land. He started and completed his early education in a small school in their Taluk itself. He was a hard working student. His interest towards studies made him take his parents’ consent and leave to Bangalore for higher studies at the age of fifteen years. There he joined the Central College. He had no money is his pocket and no roof on his head. But nothing can stop winners. He started tutoring a family from Coorg who is looking for a tutor. He used to stay with them and earned some money for his studies. Being a student, he worked as a teacher.
He stood high in B.A. Examination and in his twenties, he got help from Mysore Government and then he joined Poona Science College to study Engineering. There he ranked first in the L.C.E. and the EC.E. Examinations (these are equivalent to B.E. Examinations today).
Thereafter his professional career started from Nasik as Assistant Engineer appointed by the Government of Bombay. Some of his major accomplishments were construction of dam on River Moosa in Hyderabad, Krishna raja sagara lake and dam across river kaveri in Karnataka, Automatic Gates patented by him at many Lakes, as chief engineer and secretary to the Government of Mysore, Dewan of Mysore, Board of Director of Tata Steel and many more including India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna in 1955.
Discipline, Hard work, Honesty and Neatness are his core principles. He followed them till his death. He always dressed up neat and clean even when he was at home and in his olden years of age. He was an early riser and started his work very early by 7 AM and he used to work till 8 PM. He never used office property including car, stationery, candles etc for personal use. He was always against bossism and he even stopped attending durbar of Mysore as Indians were treated badly and made to sit on floor and the Europeans were given comfortable chairs. Later he told the reason frankly to Europeans and thereafter both were treated equally.
He was so systematic, polite and kind. He asked his payments to be converted into means of education for poor children. His memory was extraordinary even at the age of 97. Fifty years after he had restrained river Moosa, there was a discussion about the river with some people and he had to show some references to know some intricate details. Visvesvaraya pointed out to a book shelf and said to a servant “Bring the three or four books in the middle of the third row.” Then he opened one of them and pointed accurately to the detail under discussion on that page. That was the power of his memory and his perfection in everything.
Visvesvaraya silently passed away on 14th of April 1962. He was 101.
Visvesvaraya led the country to the path of progress. All his creations were considered mighty and magnificent. He was termed to be the matchless Dreamer, Doer and leader who lined the way to modern India.