Prathiba Bhat was born in Belgaum, India (in the Karnataka state) in 1972. In the interview, she traces her family's roots and her parents' upbringings, experiences, activism and professions. During her childhood, Bhat lived in the suburbs of Belgaum and went to a Catholic school. She analyzes the impact of the Begaum Border Dispute on her early life and education. She studied computer science at Karnataka University, where she met her future husband. After college, Bhat worked as a computer teacher for Tata Unisys in Puni. In 1996, a water dispute with Tamil Nadu resulted in Bhat's neighborhood not having running water for eight days. In 1996, friends from the United States convinced her to move to the U.S. Initially, her husband migrated alone, and she followed three months later. She relates the difficulties they faced establishing lives and careers in the U.S. In 2004, she began working for AVTECH Institute of Technology, where she continues to teach computer and job skills. Along with staying involved in South Asian cultural heritage, she has dedicated time to philanthropy, working for Hidden Gems and Children International, which provides educational support for young children in India. Bhat and her husband have two daughters and live in Dayton, New Jersey.
The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2020-2022 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.
- Links to Oral History Sessions: Bhat, Pratibha (April 17, 2019)