Meet The Rocket Women Who Will Again Take India to The Moon
- Breaking gender stereotypes, women in the last decade have taken up leadership roles in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Rocket science, for one, has traditionally been a male stronghold. Women, who contributed to the space progamme of India, were hardly seen or heard.
- History was, however, scripted in the early 2000s when the success of India’s space mission put the role of women scientists in spotlight.The world first took note of women scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) when the iconic photo of a group of sari-clad women with flowers in their hair hugging each other went viral on social networking sites in 2014.
- The women scientists were celebrating the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) as their male colleagues looked on from the mission control room in ISRO, Bengaluru.
- After taking India to space with the journey embarking from Mangalyaan in 2013, limelight is now back on the ‘rocket women’ of the ISRO as they spearhead the next deep space mission — Chandrayaan-2.
- As ISRO chairman K Sivan announced on Wednesday the mission launch of Chandrayaan-2, he revealed this will be India’s first interplanetary mission to be steered by two women — project director M Vanitha and mission director Ritu Karidhal.
- In fact, women comprise 30 per cent of the team in charge of the Rs 1,000-crore mission, which will be launched on July 15.
- M VANITHA: First woman to hold the position of project director, M Vanitha is a design engineer by training. Vanitha received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India.
- RITU KARIDHAL: Referred as the ‘Rocket Woman of India’, Ritu Karidhal became famous with the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission where she was the deputy operations director.
- An aerospace engineer, Ritu Karidhal graduated from the University of Lucknow after which she joined ISRO. Ritu also received the prestigious ISRO Young Scientist Award in 2007 from APJ Abdul Kalam in 2007.
12% WOMEN SCIENTISTS IN ISRO: REPORT
- Who said men are from Mars and women from Venus? asked a journalist once as women worked equally hard to make multiple missions a reality.
- As per its 2018-2019 annual report, however, ISRO stated that women constituted 20 per cent of the total workforce. In the scientists and technical category, women constitute an even lower 12 per cent.
- With women scientists yet to receive their due recognition, we wait for the day when a woman goes on to head India’s premier space agency.
Source- INDIA TODAY