Malayalee Nirmalya Roy has become the first female President of the Ship Science Faculty of the 115-year-old University of Southampton
Second photo: Paloma Media with Nirmalya Roy
One evening, Paloma Medina was waiting at a bus stop outside the University of Southampton when Nirmalya Roy approached her and they started talking. They were both in the same Ship Science course. Thereafter, they became friends.
Soon, Paloma, who is from Spain, became an admirer. “Nirmalya has a lot of passion and determination,” says Paloma. “At the same time, she is a friendly, helpful and lively person. I felt that she would make a mark.”
There was a two-week campaign at the end of April. Nirmalya put up an online manifesto. Then she spoke to the students and told them about her plans. Thereafter, on a particular day, around 300 students went to an online voting site. Only one other male student stood for the post. In the end, Nirmalya won.
Indeed, it is unusual for girls to opt for an off-beat subject such as Ship Science. But Nirmalyahas an easy explanation. “My dad [entrepreneur Sohan Roy] and uncle Dr. S.K. Pyarilal are naval architects,” she says. “Ever since my sister and I were small, we would always see them work on their projects. It was very interesting to see how a ship was built.”
Asked about her future plans, she says, “I would like to work in a firm for a few years. Thereafter, I will join my dad's business.”
(Sunday Magazine, The New Indian Express, South India and Delhi)