“He who can listen to music in the midst of noise can achieve great things”- These are the eloquent words of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. The thoughts from a visionary who touched the heart of India. During the time of Indian independence, India was a developing nation. When Vikram Sarabhai tried to bring technology and space science to India, many people questioned the relevance of space technology and argued with him that India doesn’t have a stable economy and a proper and well-regulated society. Even though, he received many negative and positive compliments, he selected the valuable feedback (music). At-present also India is a developing country, if Dr. Sarabhai hadn’t taken a footstep forward in space science, the exploration of the moon and mars would just be a dream for India. Therefore, even if you are in a difficult situation, you must try to overcome the problems by listening to ‘music’ (good feedback) and ignoring ‘noise’.
Vikram Ambala Sarabhai is the man who changed course of Indian Space program. He was the brain behind India’s first satellite, ‘Aryabhatta’, but he couldn’t live enough to see his dream come true. On 1962, Vikram Sarabhai created the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) which was used to contrive the Indian Space Programme. He was the one who built the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), which is the premier research institute, of India. All this was made possible due to Vikram Sarabhai’s talent and hard-work. He was a modest and warm person, he never grew angry when his experiments failed. Dr. Sarabhai was a simple and soft spoken human. He was a great, true mentor who always stood with his students.
Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12th 1919 at Ahmedabad. His parents belonged to a rich business family. They devoted their time and money to social works. From Vikram Sarabhai’s childhood, he showed interest in science instead of reading story books. Vikram was a bright and an apt child. From a young age itself Vikram was fascinated with science, he could easily explain problems to his classmates. When the World War II broke out, Vikram left England and returned to India. He then joined the Indian Institute of science at Bangalore. Under Professor C.V. Raman, he did research on cosmic rays. Dr. Sarabhai followed the footsteps of Sir Raman and Dr. Homi J. Bhabha. Once A.P.J Abdul Kalam mentioned that, he was spotted as a scientist by Vikram Sarabhai.
One of his greatest achievements was the creation of Indian Space research and Organization (ISRO) on 1969. Vikram Sarabhai is credited for constructing 35 universities across India. The ‘Physical Research Laboratory’ which he put up on 1954 became the cradle of space science in India. He is also famed for his construction of IIM Ahmedabad (Indian Institute of Management). Sarabhai’s first achievement was a rocket launching station named Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), set up at Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). Another feather to his cap was the creation of the second rocket launching station named Satish Dhawn Space Centre (SDSC), at Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh) near Chennai. Since then, ISRO has launched a large number of Indian satellites and rockets. For all his efforts in the development of space science, Dr. Sarabhai was made the Scientific Chairman of the UN Conference on Outer space in 1968. It was a very prestigious post and a matter of great glory and pride for India.
We could describe him with any profession, he was a visionary scientist, an industrialist, a nuclear physicist, a businessman, an ideal manager, a pioneer, an aerospace engineer, an institute builder, an innovator, and even a teacher. Vikram Sarabhai was also known as, ‘The Renaissance man”. The credit for much of what India has achieved in space technology must go to Dr. Sarabhai. Though he did not live to see many of the fruits of his labor.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan on 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan on 1972 (posthumously). To commemorate Vikram Sarabhai’s 100th birth anniversary, the Indian space research organization (ISRO) announced an award in the name of Vikram Sarabhai – ‘The Vikram Sarabhai Journalism award in space science technology’. On 2019, ISRO sent Chandrayaan-2 (India’s second moon mission) to the moon, and the lander which took photos was named ‘Vikram’ to honor Vikram Sarabhai. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) is named after Vikram Sarabhai to honor him.
Vikram Sarabhai passed away on the 30th of December, 1971 in a hotel near the Thumba Rocket Range in Trivandrum, Kerala. Due to his efforts, today, India has an important place in the field of science and technology in the global world. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai will always remain as a role model and inspiration forever to millions of young students in India .