An Indian-origin scientist has started an initiative to offer help and support to Indian students who belong to impoverished families with low socio-economic status and interest in space-related studies.
Priya Patel, a 25-year-old space scientist, has started an NGO called Sharda Foundation, which aims to bring talented and aspiring Indian school students to the facilities of an overseas space agency, like NASA.
Named after her grandmother, she believes the NGO will allow these students to experience space culture in different nations. "I want to bring resources to my own country, where there is a lot of potential, talent and passion for space exploration," she told a leading daily, according to News18.
The young scientist has experience working on important interplanetary missions with leading space agencies like NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Immense Sacrifices By Parents
Presently, Priya is pursuing a PhD course from the University College London, which is in coordination with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She was able to get the opportunities because of her parent's immense sacrifices when they moved out of India.
"I was lucky enough to have such experience, but now I want to ensure that I share my experiences with students who are truly passionate about space, but don't have the resources to follow their dreams," she said, as per News18.
The scientist was born in Gujarat and later shifted to London in 2005. She is currently working on collecting atmospheric data to study the presence of water from NASA's Perseverance Rover, which landed on Mars earlier this year in February.
Priya said that working with NASA was a 'dream come true' for her and she is pleased to represent Indian women in STEM. She is also training to become a stunt pilot in the years to come.