“There are so many people who are arguing or fighting over issues which don’t have much relevance. We must all realise it is not worth it.”- Kalpana Chwala
Kalpana Chawla Birth Anniversary: First Indian woman in space, Kalpana Chawla, died in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. She was one of the well-known Indian-born astronauts about whom we have read and heard. On February 1, 2003, Kalpana passed away when her spacecraft exploded while re-entering the atmosphere of the Earth. She was born on March 17, 1962.
After India and Pakistan were partitioned, Kalpana's parents moved to Karnal in Haryana from the Multan district of West Punjab (now Pakistan). In order to support his family, her father Banarasi Lal Chawla worked numerous menial jobs, including street hawking, selling clothing, and even fabricating metal. In the end, he established a tyre manufacturing company while his wife Sanyogita ran the home.
Kalpana was born on March 17, 1962, and was raised in an environment that valued perseverance. Kalpana, the youngest of four children, was a bright youngster. Her mother, a supportive and liberal woman who made sure that all her daughters attended school at a time when education was viewed as an unnecessary luxury for girls, supported her inherent curiosity, independent temperament, and delight in learning how things worked.
Kalpana Chawla completes her elementary schooling at the Tagore School in Karnal and his aeronautical engineering degree at the Punjab Engineering College. attained a Masters of Science in "Aerospace Engineering" from the University of Texas in 1984. The PhD in Aerospace Engineering was earned in 1986 from the University of Colorado in Boulder for the second Master of Science degree. When she applied for a job at NASA, she was up against 2,000 other applicants. She was the only NASA scientist to be chosen, then.
In breaking down boundaries and inspiring a whole new generation of young girls and women to go for the sky, Kalpana became the first Indian woman and just the second Indian in history to fly in space.Today, on her birth anniversary we reflect on the lessons she imparted through her belief that no task was insurmountable and her refusal to let her fear of the unknown prevent her from achieving her goals.
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