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Interview with Mrs. Kamala Devi

Mrs. Kamala Devi, CEG 1953 batch alumna, is one of the first women who pursued engineering in our college. She studied Telecommunication Engineering and has worked in All India Radio station for 31 years.

During one of the break sessions of CEGAM 3.0, she spent a few minutes for a brief interview with us. Read on to find out what she has to say:

GT: How do you feel about getting invited to CEGAM 3.0?

Mrs. Kamala: I feel extremely honored. I had never thought about coming here after so many years and be given an opportunity to speak on stage. It’s been so many years since I graduated. The last time I came to college was for the 50th year graduation get-together party, which was in 2003. Many people from our batch came from all over the world to attend this. But now I see very few people I know, and the fact that many of us are not here or are not able to attend this wonderful meet makes me a bit sad.

GT: How did this institution help make you a better person, other than academics?

Mrs. Kamala: Apart from the technical knowledge that I gained when I was here, I learnt to be a confident person and stand my own ground. The knowledge that I gained was the only thing that made me so independent.

GT: Being one of the first women to pursue engineering is a huge honor. How do you feel about that?

Mrs. Kamala: As a matter of fact, there were many women who studied engineering during my time. Studying engineering was a trend even in those days (laughs).

GT: What inspired you to study engineering?

Mrs. Kamala: Actually, my aim was to help my father support the family financially. So, there were only few professional opportunities- engineering, medicine and law. I had no interest in studying law. There were many people in my family who were doctors- like my grandfather, uncle, aunt, etc. I watched them dissect animals and I knew I would never do that(laughs). Mathematics was my favourite subject and therefore I chose to study engineering.

GT: Tell us about your working experience in AIR.

Mrs. Kamala: When I was in Delhi, I was given opportunities to work in many departments. First, I worked in the control room; my job was to monitor the programs and to select the operations. Then I went into the Maintenance and Recording departments. Then I was transferred to Vividh Bharathi for the development of high speed duplicators, to produce 26 copies of recordings at a time. I had to keep travelling from Delhi to Chennai and then back to Delhi frequently. And then I worked for the Maintenance department of AIR, where I had to maintain the studios and solve problems there. Again, I was promoted to work for Vividh Bharathi. And lastly, I worked for Planning and Development department, which involved the design of studios, inspections, etc.

GT: How do you think AIR is different from other radio stations?

Mrs. Kamala: To be frank, I don’t listen to radio at all. The only TV channel that I watch is DD (Doordharshan) and I avoid other Tamil TV channels because I believe they are a bad influence. I prefer DD to other channels for its good content. Since I have never listened to AIR or any other radio stations, I don’t know how they are different from each other.

The Guindy Times would like to thank Mrs. Kamala Devi for her gracious presence in CEGAM 3.0 and for spending her valuable time for this interview.

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