Name some Indian scientist. C.V.Raman? Homi J. Bhabha? Srinivasa Ramanujan? Aren’t these the names which one thinks of? No female names? That is how people underestimate women and their contribution to the field of science.
Majority thinks that there are just a handful of women scientist and inventors. But we need to know that there are several women coming out of the four walls of their houses into the world to contribute in STEM. It is time for all of us to update the list and add women in it as well.
It is time we start relating women with not just dolls, but with science experiments. Here are some great inventions and projects brought by Indian women who have contributed immensely to the field of science.
1. Tessy Thomas
Tessy Thomas is the Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India. People know Dr. Abdul Kalam as the ‘Missile Man of India’. But, did you know that she is known as the ‘Missile Woman of India’. She is known as an example of a woman making her mark in a traditionally male bastion and decisively breaking the glass ceiling. The media loves to call her Agniputri, or one born of fire, after the missiles she has helped develop.
2. Kiran Muzumdar Shaw
Kiran Muzumdar Shaw is the founder of India’s biggest biotech firm Biocon, based in Banglore. She is also the chairperson of IIM Banglore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. Once after she earned the degree of master brewer in 1975 she searched the possibility to work in the same field but was told that she would not be hired as a master brewer in India because “It’s a man’s work.”, beating all these male domination she came up, at the top.
3. Remya Jose
Remya Jose is the girl who invented electric free machine. She and her twin sister were asked to do the daily chores when their mother got ill. Instead of washing by hand, she came up with the idea of running the washing machine by pedaling the cycle. Working on problems gives birth to new ideas! Indeed, Remya is an example for all girls to think differently, out of the box and never fear the idea of trying something new.
4. Kavita Shukla
Kavita shukla came up with the idea of keeping the food fresh at the age of 17. She got a patent for Fresh Paper, a sheet of paper infused with a secret blend of organic spices that prohibits bacterial and fungal growth on fresh fruits and vegetables. After years of research and development, starting with a middle school science project, she discovered this new application of her grandmother’s generation’s old home remedy – a remarkably effective way to keep food fresh!
5. Minal Sampath
Minal Sampath, once you Google the name, search results present us ‘the women who worked for 18 hours a day for India’s Mars Mission’. She took no leaves for two years, even when her son got sick. She was a system engineer for MOM. When asked about her journey during this mission she said “I almost forgot that I am woman”. She worked hard in a windowless room, not thinking about the world, perhaps an example to everyone who feels too lazy to even get up from their bed.
This is by no means an exhaustive or a representative list. Suggestions as to how we expand this list are always welcome.