Kalpana remembered at PEC
Chandigarh, February 1st 2006
Teachers and students of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, today paid tributes to Kalpana Chawla. A two-minute silence was observed to mark the death anniversary of the astronaut.
Three years ago this day Kalpana Chawla, along with six other astronauts, had died in space shuttle Columbia while returning from a mission. Kalpana became an astronaut with NASA after completing her aeronautical engineering from PEC in 1982.
“The first and only girl student in her batch, Kalpana was a brilliant and determined student who was focused on the objective of her learning. She always believed that there was no task that girls cannot do as well as boys,” Prof S.C. Sharma, Head of the Department who had also taught Kalpana, said.
“Once she told me that she wanted to join as a maintenance engineer with Indian Airlines or Air India to which I replied that this job was difficult for girls. She immediately shot back saying that she would prove me wrong. And she really proved everyone wrong when she went to space missions,” said Professor Sharma.
One of Kalpana’s batch mate, Mr Rajkanwar Jolly, who also topped the batch and is now working with the Aeronautical Development Agency of the Ministry of Defence at Bangalore, delivered a lecture at the college today. He talked to the students about on “LCA-design performance”.
The two-hour long lecture ended with students interacting with Mr Jolly. He also shared his experiences and feelings about Kalpana.
“Such occasions are very sad but at the same time such days become inspiring and motivating for the younger generation who is eager to emulate the achievements of one of their peers,” said Prof Sharma.
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