Chandrayaan-2 Project Director’s classmates plan felicitation

The classmates of M. Vanitha, Project Director of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, are planning to hold a felicitation function here sometime this year to honour her.

“We would like to hold a small felicitation function to honour Vanitha. We are all proud of her. She is a reserved person and I hope she agrees to our proposal,” Jawahar Sabapathy, Director, CSG International, told IANS.

He said the felicitation function is planned sometime in October

Vanitha is the first female Project Director of India’s inter-planetary mission. She passed out of the College of Engineering, Guindy here.

The Chandrayaan-2 is the second moon mission and the first moon landing mission to be carried out by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“Vanitha was always impeccably dressed and took lot of care coordinating her sarees with the jewelry. A very generous minded person who shared lots of things with me and others – food, perfume (which was a novelty in the 80’s for hostel girls) and sometimes even let us borrow her sarees,” Raji Sabapathy, Vanitha’s roommate at the college hostel, told IANS.

“Being very conscientious by nature, Vanitha would be one of the first to finish up assignments on time. Her math skills were always so good,” Raji, who lives in Houston, Texas, said.

According to Raji, when she had congratulated Vanitha for heading the Chandrayaan-2 the latter replied: “I don’t know why, but I remembered your Dad today.”

“She was being referenced as Vanitha Muthayya in the press and my late Dad Muthiah Soundararajan, who was a scientist at Atomic Energy. Vanitha had given him as reference in her early resumes/CV’s. (she was referring to name similarity). This itself speaks about her humility and her trait of remembering people who may have helped her in her initial years,” Raji said.

“At college, Vanitha was passionate about electronics communications. Many of us over a period of years moved away from the core subjects we studied in the college. But in her case it was not so,” Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India had told IANS.

“We were all thrilled on hearing the news. We knew she was with ISRO. But the news that she is leading the nation’s prestigious mission was something that great. We all had the inkling that she would do something great,” C. Natesan, her classmate and Managing Director, Precision Motors told IANS.

“Vanitha was like a nerd. She would talk about the subjects and topics like a story. She used to And she was also fun loving. We used to enjoy small harmless adventures like going to Tiger Caves, near Mamallapuram, Muttukadu boating house,” D. Sashikala, a lead technical staff member at AT&T, said.

Apart from her text books, Vanitha also read lots of novels during her college days.

“Vanitha used to say that she is using at her workplace everything she studied in BE, which many of our classmates are not doing,” Sashikala added.

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