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An astronaut’s life story

Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin in space, has won her place in the world of comic books. This year at the 19th World Book Fair being held at Pragati Maidan, Amar Chitra Katha is telling Chawla’s story through comic books.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2010 00:35 IST
Mallica Joshi

Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin in space, has won her place in the world of comic books.

This year at the 19th World Book Fair being held at Pragati Maidan, Amar Chitra Katha is telling Chawla’s story through comic books.

It tells readers about Chawla’s family and about Karnal, the town in Haryana where she was born. It talks extensively about her years in school and college and is part of Amar Chitra Katha’s Bravehearts series.

Chawla, a NASA astronaut, was among the seven who were killed when space shuttle Columbia disintegrated while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere on February 1, 2003.

Chawla was 41 years old when she died.

“Unconventional clothes and bobbed hair were not the only indications of Kalpana’s zest for life — this spirited young girl from Karnal wanted to fly!” says the blurb at the back of the comic book.

Sneha Kapoor, 12, was among the many who thought the comic book about Chawla was a good idea.

“Kalpana Chawla is highly respected over the world and is regarded as a legend in India. A comic book about her life is a great idea.”

“I just know that Kalpana Chawla was an Indian astronaut who lost her life while coming back to Earth from space,” said Pia Kaul, 10, who bought a copy. “This comic book tells us so much more about her childhood and early life,” said Kaul.

“Children don’t like reading mythology these days. They find such inspirational books more interesting,” said Radhakrishnan Nair, a media professional.

Nair’s daughter Karthika, 13, was among those who grabbed the comic book.