UVCE, which was founded by him, does not have his statue
In a few years, the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) – K.R. Circle, will complete a century's existence since Sir. M. Visvesvaraya established it. Ironically, the legendary engineer finds mention only in the name of the college and nowhere else.
Meanwhile, a well-sculpted bust of the founder of the college is languishing inside the principal's room, in the midst of a handful of trophies the college has won. The statue has been in that place for the last three years. This, even as a spot has been readied at the entrance of the college for its installation. The irony is that the university's other campus at Jnana Bharathi, which came up much later and was not established by Mr. Visvesvaraya, boasts of a figurine dedicated to him.
The statue, made of burnt bronze, was donated by the Principal of UVCE K.R. Venugopal. He used a cash reward he won with the Karnataka Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) Award. Mr. Venugopal had won Rs. 6 lakh, out of which he spent Rs. 1.5 lakh on the making of the sculpture. The stone support for the bust cost another Rs. 35,000. All that is left now to do is to place the statue on the pedestal. But no interest has been taken in this regard, and financial constraint is not the reason. The process of installation will also not cost much. With the lighting, etc, there may be an additional cost of about Rs. 30,000, for which there are ready donors.
“Every other establishment he has founded, and otherwise, has a statue of his to commemorate his contribution - be it the Century Club, the Institution of Engineers, or the State Bank of Mysore. It is only fitting to have his statue in this college too,” said Mr. Venugopal.
Symbol of respect
However, Bangalore University, under which UVCE is, is yet to respond to the proposal. Students too consider it important to have the statue in the college. Chandrajith P. Belliappa, a seventh semester student at UVCE, said the name of the founder was what propelled him to opt for UVCE in the first place. “When we research about the colleges we want to join, we tend to take various factors into consideration. My opinion about UVCE was positive despite the lack of great infrastructure due to the name behind the institute. But except his name, there is no other symbol of respect towards him,” he observed.
Those eagerly awaiting the installation of the bust felt that the student community should be actively involved in speeding up the procedure, which appears to be pulled down by general disinterest.