Girish Bharadwaj, an esteemed mechanical engineer, has etched an extraordinary legacy in Indian engineering, earning himself the titles of “Sethu Bandhu” and “Bridgeman of India.” With a dedication to building bridges that foster connectivity between communities, he has left an indelible mark on the nation’s infrastructure landscape. Over the span of 30 years, he has built more than 130 bridges across the nation.
Girish Bharadwaj, the ‘Sethu Bandhu’ Connecting Lives across India
Girish Bharadwaj is called ‘Sethu Bandhu,’ meaning ‘Friend of Bridges,’ because he has built more than 130 bridges in remote villages across India. These bridges have helped connect villages to the outside world, providing access to education, healthcare, and other essential services.
Beginning with humbleness towards villagers and their belief in him, he decided to give a shot to the foot-over bridge. With pure honesty and zeal to extend help to the villagers and their problems, Girish built his first ever low-cost suspension bridge in 1989 across the Payaswini River at Arambur in Southern Karnataka. Since then, he has never looked back.
His bridge-making journey was more challenging than it may appear. From convincing friends of engineering and other streams to spending hours reading books on bridges, Bharadwaj was successful in his project. The government officials noticed his efforts and later offered to join hands and assist him in following up on more similar projects.
His continued dedication has motivated him to take projects one after the other. However, with each project comes along different barriers, and to handle each one of them, Bharadwaj builds connections with the people.
“In some places, we had to halt the work due to the lack of funds. In such cases, I would utilize my contacts and connect the people to potential resources. Normally, we get a warm welcome. In some places, it takes some time to break the ice. But, we make it a point to involve local people and ensure they take ownership of the project. After all, we want to bridge people and their dreams.”
——- Girish Bharadwaj
Girish Bharadwaj – Personal Life Details
|Date of Birth||2nd May 1950|
|Place of Birth||Karnataka|
|Education||Government High School, Sullia
Mechanical Engineering from P.E.S College of Engineering (Mandya, Karnataka)
Postgraduate in Structural Engineering, specializing in Bridge Design
|Famous as||Sethu Bandhu,
Bridgeman of India
|Awards||Padma Shri 2017
Shivaram Karanth Huttoora Prashanti Award
|Father||Balekkala Krishna Bhat|
Girish Bharadwaj’s Career: Pioneering Bridge Construction in India
In 1989, he accomplished a significant milestone by constructing his inaugural bridge across the Payaswini River in Arambur, Southern Karnataka. Despite being a mechanical engineer, Girish Bhardwaj’s education was poles apart from the field he had stepped into. In order to get the technicalities, it was required for him to attain a qualification in structural engineering. Therefore, he pursued a post-graduation degree in Structural Engineering, specializing in Bridge Design.
His innovative solutions and meticulous attention to detail have set new benchmarks in India’s bridge construction field. One of his most notable projects is the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, a masterpiece of engineering that transformed the city’s transportation infrastructure.
Bharadwaj has dedicated his life to bridging the gaps between communities and creating pathways for progress. His expertise lies in designing and constructing bridges that stand as engineering marvels and serve as lifelines for people nationwide. His passion for building and connecting has earned him the “Bridgeman of India.” Every bridge symbolizes a connection.
‘We bridge the gap between places, people, and hearts,” says Girish.