Engineers Day is celebrated every year in India on 15 September. Every year lakhs of engineers are born in the country who are engineers of civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic, computer, etc. But about 138 years ago, when M Visvesvaraya became an engineer, no one had imagined that he would set an example that would remain an inspiration for the development of the country. Let us know some stories and things from the life of Sir MV on this occasion.
Visvesvaraya was born on 15 September 1860 to a Telugu family in Chikkaballapur Taluk of Kolar District of Mysore State. After completing his initial education in the village, he completed his BA in 1880 from Central College, Bangalore from top rank. After this, with the help of the Government of Mysore, he completed his engineering studies in the Science College of Poona and secured the first position there too.
Due to being a topper, Visvesvaraya was selected by the Maharashtra government for the post of assistant engineer. He is credited with carrying out many construction works including the Krishnarajasagar dam in the areas of Masur and Karnataka. This raised Karnataka to a new height, he is still called the Bhagiratha of Karnataka.
At home and abroad
There were no fewer achievements of Visvesvaraya outside Karnataka. Be it the plan to supply water to Sukkur town from the Indus river, the Tigri Dam of Gwalior, the plan to build Rajendra Setu on the Ganges river in Patna in 1952, he got his expertise proved everywhere. Even made its presence felt in Aden, Egypt, Canada, America, and Russia.
Once during the British rule, Visvesvaraya was traveling by train. Most of the passengers in the packed train were Englishmen. Visvesvaraya sitting in a simple dress suddenly pulled the chain of the train, then people started calling him good and bad. When the guard questioned, he answered without hesitation that he had pulled the chain.
Saved many lives
When Visvesvaraya was asked the reason for this, he told that he thinks that the railway track has been uprooted a furlong away from here. When the guard asked in surprise how he came to know about this, Visvesvaraya said that there was a difference in the natural sound of the vehicle and the speed of the resonating sound of the track made him aware of the danger.
On investigation, Visvesvaraya proved to be right. It was found that the joints of the tracks are open at about the same distance. In this way, Visvesvaraya saved many lives. When people asked him for his introduction, the British were bewildered to know about him and even embarrassed to not recognize him.
The inspiration for starting the Five Year Plans, which was the basis of India’s early development, was taken from the Five Year Plan of Russia. Russia started such plans in 1928. But eight years before that, in 1920, he had mentioned such plans on Reconstructing India. Apart from this, he wrote the book Planned Economy of India in 1935.
Visvesvaraya is also known for his long healthy life. At the age of 92, he got the Rajendra Setu built-in Patna, in 1955 he was awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest honor. Even at the age of 98, he was writing a book on planning. When he turned a hundred, a postage stamp was issued in his honor, he died on 14 April 1962 at the age of 101.