You can take the man out of his adventure, but you cannot take the adventure out of the man. This is the case with C.D. Prasad, a retired scientist from ISRO who is now reaching out to and inspiring thousands of students across India.
Mr Prasad has worked along with Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the beloved former president and the iconic rocket man of India. Under the mentorship of Dr Kalam, Mr Prasad had worked in the development of the satellite launch vehicle at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, for the launching of rockets into space.
Mr Prasad was the Head of Electric Configuration and Checkout Controls of PSLV and GSLV launches. With that much knowledge and experience, Mr Prasad humbly claims that he only knows ‘a bit of rocket science’.
Post-retirement he could have chosen the peaceful life at his lovely home with the family. But the zeal to inspire and educate others has still not retired from his heart. So nowadays, he has taken up a new mission, not a space mission but exciting as one. Only Dr Kalam said once “Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.”
He visits various schools around the country and inspires and motivates kids. After All, science is more than just a textbook, it’s a way of life, an exciting journey full of mysteries and surprises. And what better way to communicate the message than to gain knowledge about rockets and space missions directly from a rocket scientist.
Explaining the science which took years and thousands of scientists to formulate in a three-hour session to school kids is one tough job, especially when there are so many interesting facts to convey. But Mr Prasad manages to deliver that effortlessly.
The sessions are very engaging and awe-inspiring filled with technicalities, real-life stories, old photographs and videos of the rocket launches. With the manner Mr Prasad explains the atmosphere at the moment of the launch, you can feel the tension building up your nerves!
Mr Prasad has delivered more than 350 lectures in various schools and colleges in the country. The challenges he faced in his work and the success, as well as failures of his career, have provided him with some of the most inspiring stories stimulating young minds of the generation.
The experiences play a vital role in building the future. The heroes and idols we choose in our lives shape us and always remain a part of us as we grow up. The innovators of the past are the inspiration for the creators of tomorrow, all we need to do is to keep the spark alive.