|Tessy Thomas - The missile women|
Hailed as a pioneer in male-dominated India, Tessy Thomas, the 49-year-old scientist at the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) juggles domestic rules with her day job - as the country's top ballistic missile expert.
Being the associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project, she continued as the project director for mission Agni IV which was successfully tested in 2011. Based on her sincere career, Tessy was appointed as the Project Director for 5,000 km range Agni-V in 2009 and based at the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Tessy Thomas, being the project director for the long-range nuclear capable missile, played a key role in making India's most potent prestigious inter-continental ballistic missile AGNI V. The missile was successfully tested on 19 April 2012. Celebrated as "Missile Women" and "Agniputri" in the local media, she has lent a new and unusual face to the secretive world of India's DRDO.
She was born in Alappuzha, Kerala to a small-businessman father and a homemaker mother and did her engineering graduation fromGovernment Engineering College, Thrissur. She grew up near a rocket launching station and says her fascination with rockets and missiles began then. She also has an M.Tech in Guided Missile from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune (now known as the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology).She says another woman - her mother - is an inspiration for her, but she also misses her father.
|Tessy Thomas - Homemaker|
While her siblings became engineers, managers and bank officers, Tessy rose to dizzy heights as a defence scientist.
The "Missilemaker" is a great "Homemaker" also. She is a mother of a son and wife of a naval officer. She insists there is no gender discrimination in predominantly male DRDO, where about 200 female colleagues work in its dozens of ordnance factories and research facilities.
'From my school days I wanted to do engineering for reasons I don't know. I completed my engineering and took up M Tech in guided missile,' said Tessy who joined the DRDO in 1988.
Among scientists, father of India's missile program A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is her inspiration. 'When I joined in 1988, Dr Abdul Kalam was a director of DRDL (Defence Research and Development Laboratory) and was the one who directed me to join inertial navigation group.'
Thomas says she decided to go into missiles- which she regards as instruments of peace because of their deterrence value - after watching rocket tests from a launch center near her home. She feels balancing the jobs of a homemaker and a scientist is challenging. 'It was tough when my son was in school.,' she conceded. Her son 'Tejas', named after India's indigenously developed light combat aircraft, is now doing his final year engineering in Vellore.
Momstimes, takes this prospect to salute Madam Tessy Thomas for her courageous deeds and stands inspiring as a role model for every women to do their best in home and office and also wishes a great success for her next challenge of working on mission and guidance of the multiple independent re-entry vehicle with proposed new technology to deliver multiple warheads with a single missile.