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Dr.M.Visvesvaraya Draupadi
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The Builder of Fortune Begins as an Engineer

MV was only thirty-two. But some very difficult work fell to his lot. For instance, he had to find a way of supplying water from the river Sindhu to a town called Sukkur. He prepared a plan, which many other engineers admired.

Water is very precious to the farmer and it has to be put to the best possible use.

Water should not be wasted. The Government appointed a Committee; it was to find ways of helping irrigation. Once again it was Visvesvaraya who found a solution. He devised a new system called the Block System. He devised steel doors; these could stop the wasteful flow of water in dams. Even British officers were full of praise for the invention.

The Government appreciated Visvesvaraya's genius and work. He was promoted to higher places. This meant even more difficult work. But there was no problem he could not solve.

Aden is a port; it is the first port as one travel from India and enters the Suez Canal. All around it there is a desert. Drinking water is hard to get. Seawater has to be distilled to get drinking water. MV prepared a plan to supply rain water from a place 60 miles away. In India, the lake near Kolhapur was damaged and the city was in danger. MV planned and executed the repairs.

From Bombay Visvesvaraya went to Hyderabad as Chief Engineer. His great achievement in Hyderabad was the taming of the river Moosa. This river divides the city into two. In 1908 the river was in floods as never before. The waters of the river poured into many houses, and men and cattle were carried away. Visvesvaraya planned dams to tame both the Moosa and another river, the Isa. He also suggested that lovely parks should be laid out on the banks of the rivers. Even now visitors to Hyderabad can visit the dams and the parks.

Visvesvaraya was appointed Chief Engineer in Mysore State. Today Mysore (Karnataka) State comprises twenty districts. But in Sri MV's days Mysore was a much smaller state, divided into eight districts. The ruler was a Maharaja.

As an engineer Visvesvaraya did not interest himself only in buildings, roads and bridges. The people of India were then in a miserable condition. There were very few schools. Only six persons out of every hundred could read and write. There were no big factories; so it was difficult for people to get jobs; they had to get into government service, or else depend on agriculture and trade. A number of things had to be got from other countries. The farmer depended completely on the rains; if the rains failed hundreds of thousands of families had no food. Farmers followed very old methods of cultivation and used ancient tools. The average income of the average Indian was just one anna (that is, six paise) a day! Many villages had no hospitals. In many parts of the country there were no good roads. Ignorance, poverty and sickness plagued the people. Visvesvaraya suggested that an Economic Conference be set up; it was to find ways of removing ignorance, poverty and sickness. We have already referred to the Krishnarajasagara Dam near Mysore. A lake of 50 square miles was created here. As a result, the very dry lands of Mandya District began to smile with plenty. When the dam was constructed India was not producing cement. Out engineersprepared mortar much stronger than cement. The dam also gave Mysore State plenty of electricity.

Visvesvaraya was the Chief Engineer of Mysore for three years.

In those days the Maharaja used to appoint the ministers. There used to be three ministers and the Chief Minister was called the Dewan. In 1912 the Maharaja choose Visvesvaraya as his Dewan.

Dr.M.Visveshvaraya - One of the makers of Modern India
About Dr.M.Visvesvaraya
The Struggle For Education
You are Here! The builder Of Fortune Begins as an Engineer
As The Dewan Of Mysore - And Ideal Administrator
The Retired Dewan Has Not A Moment's Leisure
Bharata Ratna ( The Gem Of India)
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