Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan is a well-known space scientist from Tamil Nadu and is the current chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He took up the reins from A.S. Kiran Kumar to become the 9th head of the 50-year-old prestigious organisation.
From working in his father’s fields, studying in a small government school to walking barefoot to school, the ISRO chairperson’s journey is well and truly inspiring.
Before taking charge as ISRO chief, K.Sivan plied his trade as the former Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and Liquid Propulsion centre. Sivan’s success didn’t come that easy. He had to face a lot of struggles in his life before seeing success.
Today, several other scientists in India and across the world draw inspiration from Dr.K.Sivan. Let’s take a look at how Sivan defied all the odds to attain a great position in society.
While the ISRO chief is busy working with India’s biggest space mission- Chandrayaan 2, back in his village Sarakkalvilai in the Kanyakumari district people can’t talk about anything other than K Sivan.
Sivan’s family who still lives there in the village, his schoolmates and including youngsters in his village speak a lot about him with pride and a big smile on their face.
Stories recalled by the villagers include telling little children that they should study like Sivan because nothing is impossible. He has become an epic source of inspiration and role model for all the students.
“Many people look at him as their role model. When he was here no one knew him much, but now he is in Isro and everyone knows him. I take pride in saying he lived nearby and we are from the same village,” said Praveen, a young boy in the village.
He also adds that now when a little child is asked who do you want to be when you grow up, the commonly heard answer is “Sivan sir”.
India Today TV interviewed K Sivan’s relatives and he has left a deep impression of his niece Nisha.
Lovingly addressing Dr K Sivan ‘Chittappa’, Nisha tells us the stories she has heard about ISRO chief.
“Chittappa grew up among hardships. He used to go to work with grandfather. He studied amidst a lot of struggle to get where he is. Even though is the Isro chairperson, he talks to everyone. Kanyakumari is famous and so is our village because of him. Everyone in the village is happy,” she says.
His cousin identified as Narayanaperumal also shares stories of Sivan as a child. “While all the children used to go out to play, Sivan would sit in the library and read the paper. What he has achieved today is nothing but a victory,” he says.
A villager also shares that the government school where Sivan studied in has been developed now solely because of him. A new block was also recently added to the school.
After completing his studies in the Tamil medium government primary and government higher secondary school, Sivan went to the ST Hindu College in Kanyakumari district.
Today, his school friends and look at him with pride. “When Sivan was in the fifth standard, I was in the first standard. He was always first and got 100 on 100. He is a role model for all. He is a man of our soil,” said Madankumar.