Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Special Editorials section. This one is by Dr Usha Murthy

This edition which is a special one, we wanted to have the Editorial to be a memorable one from a special person. Who can be better than an alumni of the college and still continuing to be part of the institute guiding and mentoring the new generation of students? – Dr Usha Murthy, Professor and Chairperson of Department of Civil Engineering, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering. Here is the editorial excerpt from her –

I had just finished PUC in 1975 and was thinking what to do. My mother was surprised and said just join B.Sc. What option do you have, if you are not going to a Doctor? Suddenly my father Prof. C.Govinda Gowda firmly declared “Usha will be joining Engineering course”. So I applied and got admission to 5 year BE Civil Engineering course (Ten Semesters) in 1975 in Bangalore University. I was quite happy, but got disturbed on the first day itself, when I learnt that I was the only “Girl student” in the class. At this level my mother Smt Nagarathna Gowda counselled me telling that when once some unusual decision has been taken and just because there are no girls in the class you cannot think of leaving the course, but try for a change of branch where there are girls.

Things were different in those days as many girls would not prefer to join these courses. Somehow she convinced me to developed lot of confidence so that I could finished First year BE and understood that I cannot get the change of branch but had to complete the course. When I was carrying T Square for the drawing class many people would ask “are you carrying this to your brother”. In 1980, I completed UG course and joined PG course in Environmental Engineering. I sincerely feel that I should be thankful to all my 88 classmates who supported and helped me throughout the course.

Even in PG course I was the only Girl in the class but this time I was very confident. After my PG degree I joined as a Temporary Lecturer in UVCE in April 1983. My only wish at that time was that I should become a Permanent Lecturer in UVCE. But with the passage of time I became a Permanent Lecturer in March 1985, Reader and Professor.

Finally in 2018 March, I occupied the highest position in the Department i.e. FIRST LADY to be Chair person in the history of 100 years of CIVIL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT, Bangalore University. Civil Engg Department started in the 1917 and was shifted to JB campus in 1974, with an intake of 120 students and about 90 students for UG and PG courses respectively. The department has highly qualified staff and all the staff are guiding students for Ph.D degree.

Today looking back, I feel proud to be a woman myself and feel that woman should be respected not just because they are women, but also because they are individuals with their own identity. They contribute more to the betterment of the society as a MOTHER, SISTER at homes (In my case, if my mother had not guided me, when I told that I was the only girl in the class, I really wonder what I would have been today…) As SCHOOL TEACHERS, at basic levels they just do wonders to mould the young students to be GOOD FUTURE CITIZENS. Every woman is definitely special whether she is working at home or office or doing both. She plays an important role in the upbringing of children and managing their home efficiently.

Based off a strong and motivating beginning with this incredible editorial. This is just the start and the edition is filled with more interesting and inspiring thoughts and content. This issue is our dedication to all the alumni of the college who are do let any challenges deter them and tackle all hurdles head on leaving an inspiration in us.

The following pages are filled with captivating articles, interviews of our college women alumni engineers who apart from sharing their memoires, have also penned a few suggestions. We are glad to feature them and thankful for being so readily available. Also included is the Newspaper article about Water Institute being started in UVCE (we are yet to get full details) and more exciting information about “Sammilana-2” on March 9th. Make sure you RSVP today!!

-Dr Usha Murthy (Sampada-110)

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