What’s a Wow Woman Wonder? Well, it’s a woman whose story has inspired us and many others in the world. We at Chic, are proud of everything that women strive to achieve and here’s our tribute to the Wow Women Wonders of the world!
Ritu Karidhal – The Rocket Woman of India
The first woman to ever make us feel like going to space isn’t just a dream was Kalpana Chawla, and carrying her legacy forward in a different segment of Astronomy is Ritu Karidhal. If you’ve heard of the Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan , you must know of Ritu, The Rocket Woman of India. She was the Deputy Operations Director of the mission which led ISRO straight to Mars! Born and raised in Lucknow in 1975, with little to no coaching centres available near her for aerospace engineering, she was left up to her own will and determination to succeed. Amidst the beautiful, open skies of Lucknow, she gazed at the sky every night and wondered what the size of the moon might be, why it waxed and waned, and what lay behind the dark spaces in the sky.
These recurring questions are what sparked her interest in the outer space. Growing up, she gained her knowledge through newspapers and any articles she could find about NASA and ISRO. After her Post Graduation, she applied to ISRO and voila! That’s how she became a scientist at ISRO. She’s worked on multiple projects including the famous Mangalyaan, where she carefully created the autonomous brain of the craft so that it could automatically learn how to fix errors and malfunctions. She completed this mission while simultaneously raising her kids, due to which her days usually ended at 4am! The support from her family made it possible for her to achieve a good work-life balance, even though the hours she put in were immense.
Moreover, the room for women in the science field has always been scarce and so, creating her space, striving for big goals, and bringing her team of largely female scientists to limelight has been a huge win for her and for women in science in India. Her unwavering determination and hard work have inspired many young women to aspire to become scientists. It is through women like her, we find motivation and hope that if you truly wish for it, anything is possible. Along with all this, she was also featured in the Forbes India Self-Made Women 2020 list. In her case, it stands true more than any - aim for the sky and you’re sure to land up somewhere in space!