The Philanthropist and Infoscion – Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty

Sudha Kulkarni Murthy, wife of the software genius and industrialist N.R. Narayana Murthy, is also the sister of the popular astrophysicist, Shrinivas Kulkarni. She is best known for her social work and her plethora of stories.

Her Initial Days and Early Career

In her early days, Sudha Murty was a computer scientist and an engineer. She was born in the year 1950 in the district of Shiggaon in Karnataka.

Sudha Murty scored the highest marks in SSLC (Xth grade) in 1966 from New Education Society Girls English School, Hubli .

Sudha Murthy did her engineering degree from BVB College of Engineering in Hubli. Placed as a topper in the state of Karnataka, she went on to get a medal from the CM for her accomplishment. After completing her Masters in the subject of Computer Science from IISc, Bangalore, she repeated her feat and topped her class, to receive yet another medal from the Engineers Institute.

Sudha was the first computer engineer employed by the company Tata Motors. She also initiated a bold move to introduce computer and library facilities in all schools in Karnataka. She taught computer science and started writing fiction with her first book ‘Dollar Sose’. This book was written in Kannada and later translated to English, and it was even converted into a television serial in 2001 titled ‘Dollar Bahu’.

  • Career
    • Worked at TELCO as a Development Engineer in Pune, Mumbai and Jamshedpur and later joined Walchand Group of Industries at Pune as Senior Systems Analyst.
    • Involved in the development of Infosys Technologies Ltd., in various capacities & worked as HoD for Computer Science in a reputed college of Bangalore University
    • In 1996, started Infosys Foundation & till date has been the Trustee of Infosys Foundation & a Visiting Professor at the PG Center of a reputed college of Bangalore University
    • Written and published 13 books – out of which, two are travelogues, two technical books, six novels and three educative books.
  • Awards To Name A Few
    • Gold Medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers, India for having secured the I Rank in MTech of all the branches of Engineering
    • Silver Medal from the then Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Devaraj Urs, for securing the highest marks in BE 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
    • 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 ಶಾಲಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಕಂಪ್ಯೂಟರ್ (Shalae Makale Gagi Computer – meaning computers for school children)
    • Award for Excellent Social Service by Rotary South – Hubli
    • ‘Karnataka Rajyotsava’ State Award for the year 2000, for achievement in the field of literature and social work
    • ‘Ojaswini’ award for excellent social worker for the year 2000
    • ‘Millenium Mahila Shiromani’ award
    • Voted as Woman of the Year by RadioCity [Bangalore FM station] on International Women’s Day [2002]
    • Raja-Lakshmi Award 2004 in recognition of her contribution to social work.

Sudha Murthy and Her Books

Being a fiction writer as well, Sudha Murthy has written quite a few stories, which have mostly been released by the renowned publisher Penguin Books. These stories generally have a theme of general and common life in India, and her ideas regarding donation, realisation and hospitality. Some famous stories written by her include:

  • How I Taught My Grandmother To Read
  • Old Man and His God
  • Gently Falls The Bakula
  • The Accolades Galore

In November 2004, Sudha Murty was awarded the Raja-Lakshmi Award by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation (based in Chennai) for her exemplary efforts in contributing to the society. In the year 2006, she was given the prestigious Padma Shri award, an award of great honour from the Indian Government and she also went on to receive a doctorate from the Sathyabama University in Chennai . Her stories have also been converted to Assamese by Anjan Sharma.  

Her Personal Life

The couple, Sudha and Narayana Murthy are blessed with two kids, Akshata and Rohan. Her daughter Akshata married Rishi Sunak, her batch mate from Stanford. Akshata was previously working at a firm dealing in venture capital, Siderian Ventures, and Rishi is a British citizen with Indian roots. He partners a hedge-fund involved in charity in the UK.

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