Many of us dream of becoming a scientist and unravel various mysteries of the vast universe. Some do follow that dream and Ritu Karidhal is among them. The woman in her own words said that she was fascinated with outer space from her childhood. She kept tabs on every minute information published by the Indian Space Research Organisation and NASA. She was born and brought up in Lucknow. Two of the life-changing moments in her life were when she cleared the GATE exam and got admission in the IISc in Aerospace Engineering for her Masters, and then when she received a call from the ISRO.
Breaking all stereotypes of the society she proved her mettle through her work. She was one of the driving force behind the success of India’s Mangalyaan. Ritu was a deputy director to Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission which was launched in 2013. She is also a part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission which is gearing up for the launch sometime in mid-July.
Ritu shares that when she joined ISRO back in 1997, there weren’t many women there as it was challenging for them to juggle between work and domestic life. The scenario has changed a lot over the years and Ritu is the biggest example who is just like any other homemaker who takes care of her children, teaches them after coming back from work. She is also referred to as the ‘Rocket woman’ of India.
Like Ritu, another woman who contributed to the Mars orbiter mission is Nandini Harinath, who was fascinated by the television show Star Trek. She is in this profession for 20-years. Ritu, Nandini along with their team made Mangalyaan a success and in Harinath’s words, she takes “immense pride” to see the picture of Mangalyaan on the new Rs 2000 note.
Anuradha TK, another lady scientist who is taking the ISRO by storms, she is the Geosat Programme Director at ISRO Satellite Centre. Her specialization