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Triplets ‘engineering’ their future at Salem’s Sona College of Technology
Sona College

Triplets ‘engineering’ their future at Salem’s Sona College of Technology

| @indiablooms | 23 Jun 2024, 05:53 pm

Every morning as hundreds of nattily dressed students step inside the hallowed portals of Sona College of Technology, Salem, you might miss Dhanushree, Dhanush and Dhanuja in the milling crowd.

They are no ordinary students, though.

Their story ain’t ordinary, either. Their names are alliterative, their resolve steadfast and their goals definite.

The three are classmates and bound by blood.

Dhanushree, Dhanush and Dhanuja are triplets pursuing BTech program at Sona College. A rare feat.

You might have missed the triplets in the sea of eager students but if you step into the Mechanical Engineering department of the prestigious college, you’ll find sisters Dhanushree and Dhanuja discussing the intricacies of mechanics - Ackerman steering geometry, Beale number, Cotter pin and damping ratio.

They know it all. A few walls away, their brother Dhanush pores over tomes on Electrical and Electronics - he is pursuing his long-held dream of becoming a software developer.

At Sona College, the triplets are engineering their future simultaneously.

Call it an absent-minded coincidence or a quirk of fate, the triplets were born on Engineers Day, September 15, the birthday of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, one of the most renowned engineers in India whose legacy left a lasting impact on India's infrastructure and engineering education.

Their fascinating story began in a nondescript Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) household where father B Murugan ran a business and mother K Kamala worked with the Tamil Nadu government.

In the bustling household, Dhanushree, Dhanush and Dhanuja picked up the importance of education and the courage to pursue their dreams.

Armed with commendable scores in Class XII from Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Thanjavur, the triplets secured admission in the BTech program of Sona College of Technology.

Financial adversity was prepping to scuttle their dreams - hostel fee for the three seemed an uphill task. Even if the parents loosened their purse strings, the fee was unaffordable. Then, C Valliappa, Chairman, Sona College of Technology, stepped in as a messiah. When the family approached Valliappa for a concession for hostel boarding and lodging, he suggested that the family move to Salem for the education of the triplets.

B Murugan and K Kamala paid heed to Valliappa’s wisdom and packed their bags - and dreams - to relocate to Salem for the education of the triplets. K Kamala got a quick transfer to Salem and Murugan happily set up his business in the city that is one of the largest producers of traditional silver anklets.

For Dhanushree, Dhanush and Dhanuja, the relocation was god-sent. With the family’s support, they could focus on their engineering dreams - and spread their wings, too.

While learning all they need to know about mechanical engineering, Dhanushree and Dhanuja are also pursuing a credit course in Japanese taught by an in-house Japanese trainer.

The choice stems from countless stories they have heard of Sona’s female alumni getting lucrative jobs in Japan’s manufacturing companies. Ask them and the sisters will also tell you a thing or two about anime, Doujinshi, Manga. Even cosplay. Not only is their love for Japanese language and pop culture immense, they also keenly watch Korean dramas.

“Dhanuja and Dhanushree are very attentive in the class and participate in discussions. They made friends with classmates quickly and often help them in their studies. Dhanuja has a natural flair for singing,” Prof B Renuga, Head of Department for the first-year students at Sona College, said.

Dhanuja, the youngest among the triplets, is excited about getting the highest score not only among the siblings but the entire class. “Learning is a celebration at Sona College because the faculty is friendly and I enjoy being a part of the Reader’s Club,” says Dhanushree who loves watching Anime web series with her siblings.

Women in Engineering:

For the first 18 years since its inception in 1958, Sona group’s Thiagarajar Polytechnic College’s technical diploma programs admitted only boys. In 1976, the Central and State governments launched schemes to encourage opportunities for girls to pursue technical education to coincide with the International Women's Year. Late M S Chockalingam, the then chairman of the Sona Group of Institutions, decided to admit girl students at the College in 1976.

That one small step of gender equality in opportunities opened doors for women to study engineering. And there has been no looking back. It is commendable that the percentage of female students enrolling at the Thiagarajar Polytechnic College has tripled since 1976. The intake of female students at the Sona College of Technology in the academic year 2023 soared to 495, a quantum jump from a meagre 41 female students in academic year 1997, the year the college was established.

Now, there are enough incentives for women to pursue technical education. Female students securing First Division are eligible for the AICTE Pragati Rs 50,000 annual merit-cum-means scholarship. In addition, fresh inductees at the polytechnic passing out of government schools get annual scholarship of Rs 12,000 from the Tamil Nadu government.

AICTE YASHASVI scholarships are given to female and male students pursuing Civil, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, and Mechanical Engineering degree (Rs 18,000 annually for 4 years) and diploma programs (Rs 12,000 annually for 3 years).

Today, Sona’s academic environment boasts of 600 faculty, 10,000 students, 36 research centres and alumni working in over 20 countries.

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