Faces of India – 278, Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist
Faces of India,
a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. I bring back souvenirs, frozen moments from my travels, why not some memories of people I have met and interacted during the travels. Faces of India is a weekly series in my blog since MARCH 2011. See more here…
When I saw him first in the reception section of an office, I felt I knew him. His face seemed so familiar but was I unable to place him properly in my memory. And the thought kept nagging me. With crinkled eyebrows I kept looking at him and tried to recollect who he was. Then suddenly in a flash I realized he is none other than Prof. U R Rao, Professor Udupi Ramachandra Rao, the internationally renowned space scientist.
Prof. U R Rao Renowned Indian Scientist
He has made original contributions to the development of space technology in India. Prof. U R Rao is the man behind India’s first satellite Aryabhatta. He was the chairman of Indian Space Research Organization in 1985. Under his leadership and tenure there was the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992. His pictures splashed in newspapers then and he made huge headlines too. I had seen just his photographs then and felt so proud of the space program of India. I was full of admiration for this great scientist then. Never thought I would see him face to face any day in life.
Once the realization dawned in me that he was the Prof. U R Rao I was thrilled, excited and nervous at the same time. Somehow I mustered up courage to speak to him. My first sentence was: I recognize you as Prof. U R Rao and you were the chairman of ISRO, right sir?
He smiled with a yes.
Feeling very happy to meet you sir I said, my father too served ISRO and I have seen your photographs in newspapers during the successful launch of ASLV.
He asked me which division my father worked.
After that I gathered some more courage asked his permission to photograph him and he replied with another yes!!!
And that is how I have this photo.
I as an Indian am grateful and proud of him for his contributions to Space program of India. Even at this age of 85 he continues to serve the ADCOS (Advisory Committee for Space Science.) Prof. U R Rao will receive the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ Award and a certificate, during the closing ceremony on 30th September 2016 from International Astronautical Federation.