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A Testimony for Empowerment through Education - V. M. Muralidharan

Humble, smart, confident and bubbling with enthusiasm Mr. V.M.Muralidharan also known as Mike Muralidharan is a standing example of where hard work and passion will lead you in life. A former alumnus of the College of Engineering, Guindy, current Chairman, Ethiraj College for Women and COO of Bahwan CyberTek Group, he is an educationist with multiple honours like “Edupreneur Award”, “Eminent Educationist Award” and “Vocational Excellence Award” for contribution in women literacy to his credit. With an ever cheerful smile and an aura of confidence lying beneath all the modesty, V. M. Muralidharan makes us all want to become successful entrepreneurs and educationists one day. He presided as the chief guest during today's inauguration for Kurukshetra 2017 and gave us an interview on the run between the Red Building and Vivek Audtorium as he made his way for the event. Following are the excerpts from it :-

Q. How has the world of education changed from back then?

I would not say that education has changed much, but the attitude towards educating women has changed quite a bit. In those days education was compartmentalized. If somebody was to be educated we were looking at it more from the perspective of academics and a career. But now I think education is treated as important criteria in your social life. So, that according to me is the difference.

Q. What are the changes you want to bring in as an edupreneur?

I feel that the most important factor is to make people understand that education is not just about marks. In fact in today’s context the biggest worry is that we train students to do very well. Why? For marks. And why marks? For a good career. Why a good career? For good money. But somewhere the third M is missing. That’s moral. I think it’s extremely important to understand that we should have a social responsibility. In the last one or two years, I am beginning to find that the youth in our society have understood the responsibility, but moral is something I want to inculcate in education.


"I am beginning to find that the youth in our society have understood the responsibility, but moral is something I want to inculcate in education"


Q. How important do you think education is for a woman? Why did you want to work in that particular field?

Today, if you educate anybody it is going to help not just the person but their whole family. If you educate a woman it goes beyond that. If you look at it, even at a national level women who have little education are doing fantastic work. If they are educated, the empowerment will be really good as they can contribute much much more. By their own DNA they are empowered but education can help break inhibitions and bring them to the centrestage.

Q. How did you feel on receiving an award for empowering women through education?

No I feel that is more to do with the complete institution and not just myself. It’s definitely the complete institutions staff members, the principal and everybody who are responsible. It is not just me. The decoration is on me but the credit actually lies with the institution.

Q. Tell us about the women who played an important role in your life.

My mother. My wife. My daughter. In different ways. Sometimes even by troubling me (laughs), but on a serious note they’ve all played a key role throughout my journey and have been a great support system.

Q. At what level do you think corporate social responsibility comes in within an organization?

Corporate social responsibility is definitely what you call a defined boundary which is a forced responsibility on corporates, to do something good for the society. But beyond that I think we should have our own integral responsibility which is more important than a defined CSR. CSR is more like tax. You use upto 2% of the profits on CSR. It is the government’s way of saying that they are forcing corporates to do it. I think it should come from the heart.

Q. The management sector has seen a steady rise over the years. What is your take on it?

Management has always been there but the styles of management have changed. If you look at it 40 years back most companies were managed by families. Whereas today, it is very structured with organized management as more and more entrepreneurs seem to be coming in. It is not run by a single family or a group of people. It contains a larger set of people with more importance given to governance. It cannot abide by the whims and fancies of a single person or a group of people. But it is going to be monitored by your investors and everyone else concerned. So it’s very healthy. It makes you responsible and you cannot do as per your wish.

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