3 Isro women scientists, NGO get Nari Shakti Award

Subha Varier, B Codananyaguy and Anatta Sonney—three women scientists with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), who played important roles in various space missions, were conferred the Nari Shakti Award by President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.

Karnataka’s Sadhana Mahila Sangha, which works towards the dignity and violence-free right to life for "street-based" women workers and children, and Pamela Gale Malhotra, co-founder of SAI (Save Animals Initiative) Sanctuary, also received the Nari Shakti Award at a function organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President presented the prestigious award to 33 women in recognition of their efforts in rendering “distinguished services” for the cause of women, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised.

Varier, who joined Isro in December 1991 and is currently heading the Video Systems Development Section in Avionics Entity, was “instrumental” in inducting and globalising onboard video systems in all Isro launch vehicle programmes, according to the award citation.

About Codananyaguy, the citation said, “Her specific contributions for PSLV C37 included all the solid motors for the PSLV C37 launch vehicles. The readiness and performance of instrumentation and control systems has been ensured by her group by strict adherence to laid-down procedures and also implementation of recommendations by various review committees.”

Sonney participated in orbit determination of Chandrayaan-2 mission to aid in precise landing on the Moon. “She is the recipient of the Astronautical Society of India team award for her contribution towards Mars Orbiter Mission and Isro Team Excellence award for Chandrayaan-1 Payload Instruments, Science Data Centre and mission operations,” the citation said.

Addressing the gathering, Mukherjee took note of the rising rate of violent crimes against women and called for giving “greater emphasis” on early sensitisation of children and youth to inculcate in them respect for women. “It is inexcusable that women in India do not feel as secure and safe as they should. The government is concerned at the rising rate of violent crimes against women.”

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