They are shattering the glass ceiling in science and tech. They are driven, committed and convinced that the future is female. Meet the women who took India’s mission to mars in a most successful way.
When in 2014 the Mars Orbiter Mission was successful and India became the first country to achieve this feat in the lowest cost possible, a picture of women in sarees hugging each other and making merry went viral. This was the time that we realized that ISRO, India’s space research organisation also has female space scientists and that they were an integral part of Mangalyaan.
SheThePeople.TV caught up with three of the project managers of MOM- Ritu Karidhal, Minal Rohit and Moumita Dutta to talk about their lives before and after MOM.
Women who took India to mars have more missions lined up. These female space scientists – extremely modest about their positions in the country today – has a slew of things on their to do list. The world’s space centres may have their eyes upon them but they just want to go on working for projects after projects.
And just what excites them? Helium. They talk about how presence of helium on the moon can be useful for earth. And that mars has a plethora of things yet to be discovered.
Minal has a young boy who was only 4 years old when she was working on MOM
Beyond their missions at work, these women are multi-taskers to the bits. Ritu has two children- a boy and a girl and Minal has a young boy who was only 4 years old when she was working on MOM. They spent between 15 and 20 hours while working on their significant projects but they said that their families’ top concern was their health. The families did not want them to compromise on their health.
Minal admits while children did not quite know what their mothers were up to, they knew something was up. The women of ISRO insist the mission and its achievement wouldn’t have come through without homes and families that supported them.
Ritu originally belongs to Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. She made it to work at the Bangalore headquarters of ISRO. Comfort zones are not important she says. Ritu says cities don’t matter if a woman really wants to achieve something. “Of course difficulties grace our ways. Like when I was first moving out from the city, my parents and relatives were quite worried as no girl had ever moved out of city in my family. But my father supported me and I moved out. After that I had no looking back.”
Watch this candid conversation with three women from the Mangalyaan mission, speaking to She The People’s Poorvi Gupta