Kalpana Chawla, the woman who inspired millions of Indians, was killed along with six other astronauts ten years ago on February 1, 2003 when the Columbia space shuttle exploded over Texas during re-entry.
The event started with floral tributes to Kalpana Chawla by Prof Manoj Datta, Director, PEC. Prof Datta said that in the field of engineering, there are few role models, and that Chawla had emerged as a role model to emulate. He emphasised that the path from dreams to reality exists and one should have vision to find it, courage to get on to it and perseverance to stick to it.
He announced that the Kalpana Chawla Centre of Excellence will be set up, for which a budget of Rs 4.33 crore has been allocated.
Prof V S Malhotra, who taught and mentored Kalpana Chawla while she was at PEC, said that qualities like commitment towards work and willingness to do anything for the completion of one’s mission made her exemplary.
Prof KK Garg, Chairman, Alumni Affairs said that great people like her have their own independent thinking, He quoted Punjabi poet Paash, saying that the “most dangerous is the death of dreams”. He urged students to not let their dreams die.
The event concluded with a short documentary on Chawla’s life, which was presented by the Projection and Design Club of the college.