Tessy Thomas has been appointed as the Director of India’s prestigious Rs.2500 crores AGNI V missile project. Her mission is to develop a rocket with a range of 5000km which is almost the same range as the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
In a country where women have adorned eminent positions including that of President and Prime Minister, and brilliantly proved their mettle too, the elevation of Tessy Thomas as the AGNI V chief may not cause much surprise. But it is significant in several ways.
Erase any image of a stooping old scientist from your mind. This brilliant ‘Missile Woman’ is about 45 or 46 years old. No glamor schools or high profile educational institutions to start with. She had initial education at local schools in Alleppey, Kerala. I am proud because that is my home district.
Tessy Thomas did her B. Tech from the
According to one report, Tessy Thomas has an MBA qualification from Indira Gandhi National Open University, and is doing her PhD. There are other reports that refer to her as Dr. Tessy Thomas. The invitation to the Trichur Engineering College Golden Jubilee Lectures on August 25, 2008 gives her name as Ms. Tessy Thomas. All that is immaterial. People like her are born with ‘Doctor’ stamped on them.
Tessy is married to Saroj Kumar from Orissa. They studied together at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technologies, Pune. He is now a Commodore in the Indian Navy. Their son is an engineering student at
No godfathers, no political patronage. Sheer merit has brought the girl from a Backward District this far. And sheer merit will propel Tessy Thomas to greater heights, like the missiles she guides.