A train was running at high speed. A man suddenly he jumped from his seat and pulled the danger chain hanging just over his head. The train stopped there.
The railway employees and other passengers in the train rushed to the compartment to know what had happened. All surrounded the man and asked the reason behind chain pulling.
“There is a crack in the rail at a few metres away from here. If train goes over it, it may derail.” The man said quietly.
“What rubbish are you talking? How did you see the crack sitting here? Are you mocking?” That was the response of the people.
“No. I’m not mocking. There has been a change in the sound coming from the tracks. It must be due to the crack in the railway line. You please check it.” The man replied very coolly.
The employees were stunned when they went a little further to confirm this. They saw a big crack in the rail.
Do you know who was that man? It was none other than the best engineer that India ever gave birth to. He was Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (MV), who was born on this day in 1861.
He is considered the father of engineers in India. Every year India celebrates National Engineer’s Day on September 15 to recognise and honour the achievements of MV. Sri Lanka and Tanzania also join in this celebration.
MV undertook several complex projects. He patented and installed an irrigation system with water floodgates at Khadakvasla reservoir. These gates raised the storage level in the reservoir to the highest level using block system. It was replicated at Tigra and Krishnaraj Sagar dams too.
He also suggested flood relief measures for Hyderabad that was under constant threat by the Musi river. He proved that science is about knowing, but engineering is a out doing.
MV was a multifarious personality. He was a statesman and was also called the precursor of economic planning in India. As the Diwan of Mysore state, he was instrumental for the founding of Mysore Soap Factory, Mysore Iron & Steel Works, Bangalore Polytechnic, Engineering College and Agricultural University, and above all, the Bank of Mysore.
He lived for 101 years, but remained active even during his last years. At the age of 90, he had given technical advice for Mokamah bridge over the Ganges in Bihar.
He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) for his contributions to the public good. He received recognitions in many areas throughout the country. He was awarded the nation’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1955.
I salute this great son of India and his services to create something worthwhile for a better life in India.
“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money.”