With the leaps and bounds of advancement technology is making in India, its scientists have gained a renowned interest from all around the world. And in a country known for its brilliant minds and scientific talent, Tessy Thomas stands out as a beacon of inspiration for all. Fondly called “Missile Woman of India”, Tessy’s journey from her humble beginning in a small town to becoming a pioneer in India’s missile program has been truly remarkable. It is a testament to her determination, dedication, and unwavering spirit.
Early Life and Education
The journey of this extraordinary woman started in the ordinary town of Alappuzha, Kerala in 1963. She had a modest home life where her parents taught her values that would stay with her for life. She learned to work hard and persevere through the hurdles of life. Tessy remembers her mother fondly and credits her for her own growth and success, “It must have been tough for my mother – who was not allowed to work – to look after us on her own. However, she ensured that each of her five daughters and one son received a quality education… I’ve definitely inherited her strong determination. I possess the same level of perseverance and resolve as my mother.
It was also her parents who were her pillar of support in her journey of education. They understood the value of education and made sure that her foundation was strong enough to see her through anything life could throw at her. She started her schooling at St. Joseph’s in her hometown, where she astonished everyone with her brilliance and thirst for knowledge. Her unmatched talent in mathematics and science drew attention from her teachers as well as peers, which helped her secure a scholarship to Thrissur Engineering College.
The Missile Woman’s Ascent
Tessy, known as the missile woman of India, had developed an interest in missiles and rockets since childhood. Growing up near Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Trivandrum, she used to watch rockets and missiles in wonder and dream of being a part of it. This dream of hers eventually led her to the gates of the Defence Research and Development Organization. She started her remarkable journey and had to come face to face with numerous challenges. It was definitely not an easy path to walk on as the field she chose was heavily male-dominated. She had to break through gender stereotypes and prove her worth and abilities repeatedly.
Her stubbornness and perseverance caught a lot of attention and her exceptional skills in navigation and missile technology did not go unnoticed. Tessy was one of the biggest contributors to the successful development of a long-range ballistic missile called Agni-III, which brought her nationwide acknowledgement. This proved to be a turning point in her scientific career and she never had a turn back.
Challenges and Triumphs
Tessy’s journey to success was not an easy one, fraught with obstacles and setbacks that would always try to discourage her. Like every other woman, she had to face scepticism and gender bias wherever she went. However, she never let them stop her. Instead, she took those scrutiny and challenges as motivation to move forward and prove herself to everyone. Her work ethic and dedication earned her the respect of her colleagues and superiors.
A Role Model for Aspiring Scientists
Tessy’s journey to the missile woman of India has become a source of inspiration and motivation to countless youngsters across the country. She shattered the boundaries and overcame numerous obstacles to prove that aspirations and dreams can never be confined to gender roles. Her story encourages aspiring youth to strive for their dream even in the face of adversity.
Awards and Honors
Tessy’s unparalleled contribution to the defence capability of the country has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, she has been decorated with some of the most prestigious awards and accolades. In the year 2001, Her outstanding achievements as a scientist led to her receiving the DRDO Agni Award for Excellence in Self-Reliance. This proved to be one of her many accolades as she also received the DRDO Scientist of the Year Award in 2008. In 2012, She was honored with the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for her exceptional contributions to Public Administration, Academics, and Management. These awards recognize her outstanding achievements and her commitment to her nation.
Although she has conquered the summit, she has not taken a break. Tessy continues to work tirelessly to strengthen the defence of our country. Her leadership and expertise in guided missile technology are instrumental in advancing the country’s defence system and ensuring the security of our nation.
The life story of Tessy Thomas, the missile woman of India, is a shining example of hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance. She taught us that the sky is just the beginning, not the limit. And her legacy will continue to inspire young scientists, especially women, for generations to come. In a world where gender equality is still far from real, Tessy stands as a symbol of women’s empowerment and proves that they can reach for the stars and beyond with grace and brilliance.