Only education will make you independent: NASA scientist to students

Get an education, build your confidence and stand on your own feet, said NASA scientist Dr Hashima Hasan.
7th annual Tehrim Dass Memorial Lecture held at Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGDC) Lucknow. (HT)
7th annual Tehrim Dass Memorial Lecture held at Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGDC) Lucknow. (HT)
Published on May 10, 2022 01:05 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Lucknow

Indian-origin program scientist at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dr Hashima Hasan has urged students to stand on their own feet and reach out to stars. “Get an education, build your confidence and stand on your own feet. That’s the only way to experience true independence and empowerment,” she said while delivering the keynote address at the 7th annual Tehrim Dass Memorial Lecture, a hybrid event held at Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGDC) Lucknow, from Washington DC.

The auditorium at AGDC was packed with students, educators and NCC cadets. She highlighted the importance of finding oneself a mentor. Moved by Tehrim Dass’s inspirational life, she said the keynote address was a celebration of her legacy. “Mrs Dass forged a new path for girls like me to help us believe in ourselves and hold our heads high,” said Dr Hasan.

Humanities and space careers

Sakeena, a student of AGDC, asked Dr Hasan about her views on the people who considered women “intellectually inferior”. “All I will say is have faith in yourself and don’t let others make you feel inadequate,” said Hasan.

To another student’s query, she said there was scope for students with humanities backgrounds too in the space fields. “We have humanities students involved in space art. We actually had an art competition for James Webb (space telescope). Then, we need science writers. If you’re good at writing, you can take that up. Students with a design background can also get in provided they have knowledge of engineering,” she said.

Lucknow connect and path to NASA

Born and educated in the state capital, Hasan calls herself “a Lucknow girl”. It was her “dream to work as a space scientist ever since she was a little girl and would watch Sputnik go by from her backyard in Lucknow”.

Hasan did her schooling at Loreto, completed BSc from Lucknow University and went on to do her MSc and M Phil degrees from Aligarh Muslim University. She received a doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics from Oxford University, UK.

While her path to a career in astronomy was not straightforward, abiding interest in science and mathematics besides much-needed serendipity made it happen. “Ours was the first batch to study science at Loreto Convent. Before that, science was not offered as a subject (in girls’ schools). It was also a challenge for the school to find a woman teacher who could teach the subject,” said Hasan who joined NASA in 1994.

This lecture was jointly organised by ICS and AGDC as a tribute to Tehrim Dass whose outstanding social work spanned six decades and who served as a member of the AGDC management committee for years. It was also broadcast to hundreds of edu-leaders, parents and students the world over.

Earlier while introducing Dr Hasan, Dr Amrita Dass, Founder-Director, Institute for Career Studies (ICS) and Tehrim Dass’ daughter said, “Dr Hasan’s achievements and amazing journey from a school student to a renowned program scientist at NASA inspires us all to pursue our dreams with unfailing hope in our hearts—the world is our stage with a universe of opportunities. Never give up!”

Prominent among those present on the occasion included president, managing committee, AGDC, Zarine Viccajee; manager, AGDC, Nishi Pandey; principal, AGDC, Prof Bina Rai Tehrim Dass’ family members and ICS and AGDC communities.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • One of the 14 Mughal-era gateways to punctuate the Walled City’s wall, the graceful Ajmeri Gate today is like a queen without her palace.

    Delhiwale: This way to Ajmeri Gate

    This venerable stone gateway originally signposted the way to the aforementioned pilgrim town. One of the 14 Mughal-era gateways to punctuate the Walled City’s wall, the graceful Ajmeri Gate today is like a queen without her palace.

  • Mahesh Choudhary, 45, went missing on April 4, 2007 and the case was registered five days later, after his son, Rakesh Choudhary, then 22, filed a missing complaint. (Representation purpose)

    Delhi: Cop’s hunt for kidnapper ends after a 15-year wait

    Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Sanjeev Tomar’s quest ended on May 28, when he and members of his team arrested a man named Hari Om for abducting and killing Choudhary. Tomar, 47, now posted with the crime branch, was a constable at the Badarpur police station when the crime took place in 2007.

  • DFS chief Atul Garg said, “The addition of 89 new firefighting vehicles will help us improve our response time across Delhi”. (Photo by Amal KS /Hindustan Times)

    89 new trucks to help DFS speed up rescue operations

    The approval for purchasing 89 new fire trucks was sought against the condemnation of 60 fire trucks, which have diesel engines and have reached their expiry time of 10 years, and have to be taken off service.

  • Delhi minister Satyendar Jain. (ANI FILE)

    ED arrests 2 more in money laundering case against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain

    Vaibhav and Ankush were arrested under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). ED said both are directors of Ram Prakash Jewellers Pvt Ltd, which was raided on June 6. After the searches at premises linked to six people including the jewellery firm’s five directors, ED said it recovered 2.85 crore and 133 gold coins, alleging that the gold was from “unexplained sources” and was “secreted” in the properties.

  • A MCD official said enforcement teams seized 689.01 kg of plastic items and issued 368 challans on Friday.

    Problem of plenty: Ban no bar, Delhi markets struggle to get rid of plastics

    Following the latest notification of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022 in February, the central government directed all states and union territories (UTs) to phase out SUPs in a planned manner by July 1, 2022.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, July 02, 2022