To mark the birth centenary year of the ‘father of the Indian Space Programme’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Dr Vikram Sarabhai on the Sabarmati riverfront on Thursday.
During the three day Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019, PM Modi said that instilling a scientific temperament among Gujarat’s children would be the best tribute to him.
The statue shows Dr Sarabhai seated on a desk. It has come up at the same place which used to be Sarabhai’s home before floods washed it away. Later, his family had handed over this land to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Looking at the statue, PM Modi stated that it looked like Vikram Sarabhai was sitting there and was engaged deeply in studying. With Sarabhai’s statue on the Sabarmati riverfront, the pride of the place had increased.
The 6-feet-tall bronze statue, weighing 1,050 kg, has been sculpted by artist Dhruv Shilpi in Ahmedabad.
A public gallery was set up adjacent to the statue featuring Vikram Sarabhai’s life and work. It has been planned to inspire children and youth to understand how science played a role in the development of our country.
This is the first statue of Dr Sarabhai to be installed in Ahmedabad’s public space. Most of his statues are installed in the institutions which he set up such as the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) and ISRO’s Space Application Centre.
The entire Sarabhai family attended the unveiling of the statue.
Dr Vikram Sarabhai
A boy of this city, who used to sit and study on these very banks of Sabarmati, went on to put India on the world map with his accomplishments in science and technology. A son of this soil, the pride of this city, and this country’s ‘shaan’ (pride), he was Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
– PM Narendra Modi
Born into a business family in Gujarat, Dr Vikram Sarabhai completed his primary education from India and then moved to England for further studies.
After returning to India, he began researching on cosmic rays at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He published his first scientific paper within two years of starting his research.
In 1942, he married classical dancer Mrinalini and had two children.
The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of Sarabhai’s greatest achievements. He convinced the government of the importance of a space programme for India after the Russian Sputnik launch.
The ‘father of India’s nuclear science program’, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha supported him to set up the first rocket launching station in India at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram.
Dr. Sarabhai started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian Satellite, Aryabhata, which was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
He also set up Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organization in India.
In 1966, Dr. Sarabhai communicated with NASA to launch the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE). However, it was launched during July 1975 – 76, when Dr. Sarabhai was no more.
(Note- All the photos have been taken from Twitter.)