“Remember, your work may be only to sweep a railway crossing, but it is your duty to keep it so clean that no other crossing in the world is as clean as yours.” – Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya
On a rainy day in the year 1861, Muddenahalla, a small village in Karnataka, welcomed a baby boy who scripted history. The father of Indian engineering Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born on September 15 to Mokshagundam Srinivasa, a noted Sanskrit scholar and Venkatalakshmamma.
On the occasion of 157th birth anniversary of one of India’s foremost nation builders, we bring to you a few things about Sir MV.
Sir MV was only 12-year-old when his father passed away. He would tutor students to pay his school fees and would study under night lamps. He then moved to Pune to study civil engineering from Pune’s College of Science and received Licentiate in civil engineering from Bombay University.
An Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the 19th Diwan of Mysore, Sir MV was known as the builder of India. He built numerous dams and water systems which saved a large number of people from floods and also boosted irrigation facilities.
He was the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya district of Mysore, the biggest in Asia at that time. He was also the chief engineer of the flood protection system in Hyderabad in 1909 when the city was in danger of getting flooded. Sir MV was appointed to make the city flood-proof. As expected, the Vishakhapatnam port was saved from sea erosion because of his engineering work.
The genius of this pioneer of engineering showed in harnessing of water resources and building of dams across India. He first installed flood gates in 1903 at Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune. Sir MV also invented the block systems and automated door that close the water overflows.
With a vision for the development of modern India, he took voluntary retirement from his job as a PWD in Bombay and left on a world tour to study and explore engineering in the industrialized countries of the West. After returning back to India, he established a Government Engineering college in Bangalore.
For his outstanding contribution to the construction of India, Sir MV was given Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 1955. He was also awarded the British knighthood by King George V, which put the honorific ‘sir’ before his name.
“Life is always a predicament and the world constitutes a challenge, but a challenge that is opportunity for all of us.”
Bringing you independent, solution-oriented and well-researched stories takes us hundreds of hours each month, and years of skill-training that went behind. If our stories have inspired you or helped you in some way, please consider becoming our Supporter.