Vikram Sarabhai Biography
Considered as the Father of the Indian Space Program, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919 to Ambalal Sarabhai and Sarala Sarabhai. After matriculating from the Gujarat College, he cleared the Intermediate Science Examination and moved to London.
He joined St. John’s College, University of Cambridge. Due to the problems of Second World War, he returned to India and joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
This innovator got married to the famous dancer of that time, Mrinalini Sarabhai in 1942. The whole family of Vikram Sarabhai was involved in freedom struggle and he himself was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. Vikram Sarabhai again went abroad and after getting the doctorate degree for his thesis ‘Cosmic Ray Investigation in Tropical Latitudes’, Sarabhai returned to India in 1947. After returning to an independent India, he felt the need of science and technology for the development of the nation. He wholeheartedly plunged into developing the Space Programmes of India. He was not an ordinary scientist interested in just development of rockets and space programmes. Instead, he was the man who was inclined to use all aspects of science and technology as ‘levers of development’.
To help the cause of the developing India, Vikram Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. He was not just a scientist, but a dreamer, an innovator who not only developed science and technology institutions but also laid the foundation of some of the developmental and management institutes. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and the Nehru Foundation for Development are the two world- famous organizations established by this philanthropist. He also set up Ahmadabad Textiles Industrial Research Association(ATIRA),Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) and Blind Man Association(BMA). One of the greatest achievements of Vikram Sarabhai was the development of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It was due to his efforts that this space organization came into being.
Vikram Sarabhai left for his heavenly abode on December 31, 1971 at Kovalam.