February 1, 2003- The world lost 7 astronauts and India, its pride. Kalpana Chawla was one among the 7 lost lives who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster. But her unfortunate demise was an eye-opener for the Indian society, more so for the Indian stereotyped generation that tries to suppress females. Here is what you get to learn from Kalpana Chawla’s life:
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1. She had unfathomable conviction in her Dreams :
Kalpana belonged to a middle class family in Karnal, Haryana. For her, pursuing higher education outside of her native place (Chandigarh and US) was an extremely brave decision to make. She was an ordinary girl who dreamt to touch the sky and did so, literally!
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2. She didn’t let the Society subdue her aspirations :
In spite of being from a place where female child is considered burden on the society, her family believed in her caliber. Her mother once stated that since birth, Kalpana was a different child. She cut her own hair and learned Karate for self defense. Till today, she inspires girls to follow their dreams without worrying about geographic and cultural barriers.
3. She was the First Indian Astronaut to make it to NASA :
Needless to mention, she did what no one else could. She lived as an ideal for the youth and died a legend. Many awards and memorials have been established in her name. In fact, it would be unfair to call her dead. She is an immortal, forever struck in the sky as a star.
After logging in 30 days, 14 hours and 54 minutes in space over the course of two missions, Kalpana Chawla became forever immortal on earth and in the sky!