Successful people come from challenging conditions. The challenging conditions bring the hard work, persistence and compel the strong people to acquire the needed knowledge.
Mokshagundam Visweswarayya was a great engineer of India, who successfully designed dams and sewage water drainages and protected the cities from the edge of the danger of floods and made them beautiful cities and fertile lands for agriculture.
The humble background:
He was from a lower-middle-class family. His father was a Sanskrit and Vedic pandit, his name was Srinivasa Sasthri, and his mother Venkata Lakshmi was a homemaker. They were migrated from a village called Mokshagundam in Andhra / Telugu region to Chikkaballapur near Mysore. He was a good student from his childhood. His father, Srinivasa Sastry passed away when Visweswarayya was very young. His date of birth was 15th September 1860.
He studied BA from central college Bangalore and he was praised by the lecturers for his talent and knowledge. His lecturer gave him a gift, Webster English Dictionary, which was kept with him for his entire life. His devotion to his teacher was like that.
He joined College of Engineering Pune and got Licentiate in the Civil Engineering which was equivalent to Diploma in Engineering.
He started working as an Assistant Engineer in Bombay and he designed the drainages to have the city proper sewage water management. After a few years of service there, he got an opportunity to work for the Indian Irrigation Commission, where he worked in different places in India.
Once in Hyderabad, there were floods and due to that, many people lost their lives. He went to Hyderabad on the invitation of Nizam and designed the drainage system on Musi river, and saved the city from frequent floods.
He was the first person to install the automated gates in a reservoir. Patented, automatic weir water flood gates were first installed in 1903 at Kadhakvasala reservoir near Pune.
Based on the success of the automated gates, Tigra Dam in Gwalior and Krishna Sagar Dam in Mysore were designed with the gates. In Visakhapatnam, his design was a great success to make the port erosion free.
He was invited by His Excellency Raja Krishna Wadiar, the Mysore King and was offered Diwan position which was equivalent to minister. Mysore was not confined to a single city, it was a big state which includes, today’s most of the Karnataka.
His economic achievements for Mysore:
He invited the private investors to invest in the state of Mysore and through this, he created the employment in the state. He built a university in Mysore. He worked for railways as an Engineer.
He was one of the board of directors in TATA Steel from 1927 to 1955
He was recognised for his relentless services to the government and people of India. He was very honest and sincere to his duties.
He was honoured by George V with the title “Sir” and was awarded highest Gallantry award “Bharath Rathna” these awards are a few of his many accolades.
He was an honest and sincere person, he rendered his eight hours per day for the service of his office and when he stepped out of the office, he never touched the office property for his personal use.
His projects have been serving the country without a scratch on them and the quality and design of the work is excellent.
He contributed to literature and economics also. One of his great works was a book called “Planned Economy”
He established, Kannada Parishad, and restored the old traditions of Kannada culture. His attire was a resemblance of Indian tradition. Though he was lauded by the British government, he never tried to imitate the British.
The greatness is, though the British looked down upon us, he made them respect him with his intelligence, knowledge and skills. On one hand, the freedom struggle was going on and on the other hand, he had shown them, how Indians were talented and knowledge seekers. His discipline made him have a long life. He passed away in the year 1962 April 12th.
His birth anniversary is celebrated as Engineers Day, on 15th September every year.