Every year on February 28, India gloriously celebrates National Science Day, to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman, or C. V. Raman as he is popularly known. Just two years after his discovery, in 1930, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
While we remember his incredible contribution, there are a few people we often forget to think of when we celebrate India’s scientific past, present and future. These are none other than our very own women in science and tech – women who broke barriers, crushed gender stereotypes and showed that their work deserves to be recognised.
- Kalpana Chawla: The first Indian woman in space, Ms. Chawla even has an asteroid named after her! Years after her unfortunate death in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, she continues to make young women everywhere believe that they can indeed reach for the stars.
- Shakuntala Devi: This genius was called the ‘human computer’ for her amazing mental math skills. A child prodigy, her talent earned her a place in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records.
- Dr. Indira Hinduja: A Padma Shri awardee who delivered India’s first test tube baby, Dr. Hinduja is a pioneer in her field. She also delivered India’s first GIFT (Gamete intrafallopian transfer) baby in 1988, as well as the country’s first baby born of oocyte donation, in 1991!
- Aditi Pant: In 1983, she was a part of the Indian expedition to Antarctica – the first Indian woman to ever go to Antarctica. She is also among our foremost oceanographers.
- ISRO women scientists: The fire power behind Mangalyaan, India’s mission to Mars, these women are breaking all glass ceilings!
- Tessy Thomas: India’s first female director of the Agni missile programme, Ms. Thomas is also the winner of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award. She is popularly called ‘Agniputri’ in the media!
Watch this incredible video on the women scientists of the Mangalyaan –
Meet the eight amazing women scientists at ISRO:
On this day, let us help our girls know that gazing at the stars is the first step towards getting there!