You have seen women grabbing cover pages of business magazines, setting ramps on fire, inculcating storms through their ink, digging holes on the chest of enemies with guns and if you think that’s all, then this article is absolutely for you!
Those who once struggled hard to step outside those four walls have now stepped on space as well. And they are not from UK or the US, they are daughters of India.
A lady’s brain is an absolute treasure. Each time a gem pops out, it leaves the world dumbstruck. So now that these ladies have left their bright footprints on those untrodden paths, we are pretty sure many witty successors shall soon bloom to carry the legacy on.
We bring to you the stories of 7 ISRO women scientists who have broken the stereotype
1. Minal Sampath , MARS Mission
Minal Sampath , a system engineer at ISRO led the team of 500 scientists working on the Mars Mission Project. Minal worked for 18 hours a day even on weekends in a windowless room for the Mars Orbital Mission. On 5th November, Mars Orbiter Mission took off at 09:08 GMT from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the east coast of India.
With the mission, India joined the elite club of countries capable of doing so.
Despite the fact she is a woman, she says she has never felt that she is treated any differently.”I forget I am a woman sometimes, working in such an organisation,” she said to BBC.“Maybe it’s because we spend a lot of time working in clean rooms with full suits on, so you can’t tell who is male or female,” she added, laughing.
2. Kriti Faujdar, ISRO Hassan
Hailing from the ancient city of Vaishali in Bihar Kriti Faujdar currently works as scientist/engineer at ISRO Hassan, Karnataka. Kriti works with her teammates and makes sure that the satellites remain healthy and do not change direction due to the gravitational force of the sun or moon.
Kriti studied computer science engineering at a college in MP and got placed in an IT company but her joining date was many months later. It was during this gap that Kriti heard about an ISRO recruitment through a friend. Despite her average scores , she made it, along with just 21 other computer science graduates that were selected.
At ISRO since monitoring has to be done round the clock her job demands working in shifts on a rotational basis. But she is passionate about her work and these things doesn’t matter to her.
3. Tessy Thomas, headed the Agni IV and Agni V mission, DRDO
Popularly known as Missile Woman of India, Tessy Thomas is the first woman engineer to head a missile project in India. Tessy grew up near a rocket launching station which resulted in her fascination with rockets and missiles.
Tessy was associate project director of the 3000 km range Agni-III missile project and project director for mission Agni-IV which was successfully tested in 2011.
Like any other woman, Tessy has established a perfect balance between her home and career.For the help she has provided in developing the missiles media commonly knows her as Agni Putri or woman born from fire.
4. Nandini Harinath, Deputy Operations Director, Mars Orbiter Mission
Nandini was a Star Trekker kid who was into science fiction. This inspired her to become a Space Scientist in future. She is in ISRO for last 20 years and thinks it as an honor to be a part of Mars Mission. She got goosebumps when she saw the Mangalayan’s photograph on the new 2000 rupees notes. To meet the deadlines of Mars mission Nandini had to work 12 to 14 hours a day along with her teammates. She had to be a mother and deputy director at the same time. She counts Mars Mission as the first step and plans to hit big in future for India.
5. Ritu Karidhal, Deputy Operations Director, Mars Orbiter Mission
Ritu Karidhal is from Lucknow. Since childhood, Ritu was always curious about the sky and the moon. Collecting information about space science and reading article about NASA and ISRO projects had become her hobbies. After her Post-graduation, she applied to ISRO for a job and became a Space Scientist. She has worked on several projects at ISRO including Mars mission since 18 years
“Mars mission was an achievement, but we need to do a lot more. The country needs a lot more from us so that the benefit reaches the last man.”
6. N. Valarmathi, project director of RISAT-1
N. Valarmathi, is the project director of RISAT-1, India’s first indigenously-developed Radar Imaging Satellite. She is the first person to receive Abdul Kalam Award, instituted by Government of Tamil Nadu in honour of the former president Abdul Kalam in 2015. She is the first woman to head a mission that involves a remote sensing satellite.
7. Anuradha TK, Geosat Programme Director at Isro Satellite Centre
Anuradha is the senior most woman officer at ISRO with specialisation in Satelite Communication. Being inspired by Neil Armstrong she wrote a poem about a man landing on the moon in Kannada. Now She has 34 years of experience in ISRO. “In my batch, five-six women engineers joined Isro. We stood out and everyone knew us. Today, more than 20-25% of Isro’s over 16,000 employees are women and we no longer feel special,” she says with a smile. Anuradha is now a role model for all the woman scientists at ISRO.
Hats off ladies! Keep shining!