On 17/04/2016, Nisarga Mitra arranged a beautiful program. The outline of the program was Sumeet Paringe's slideshow of his amazing journey to Siachen, world's highest battlefield to be followed by a talk by Dr. Parag Vaishamapayan, senior scientist in NASA and an old member of Nisarga Mitra.
The program started with Sumeet's slideshow. Everyone in the audience was enthralled by his thrilling journey and his anecdotes as he took everyone through his journey. He was totally committed to his decision of taking India's flag to the highest battlefield. His will power made his dream turn into reality. The slide show finished amidst huge round of applause.
The second and the most awaited part of program was ofcourse, Dr. Parag Vaishampayan's talk. After all, one doesn't get to meet and listen to a scientist from NASA everyday. It was indeed a privilege for everyone in the audience. Dr. Parag started his journey from VK High School and ASC college in Panvel. During his school days, He was inspired by 'Ek hota Carver', a book by Veena Gavankar on the inspirational journey of the famous American scientist George Washington Carver. The roots of the idea to become a scientist were sown there. He completed his Masters in microbiology from Haffkine Research Institute, Mumbai University, India & completed his Ph.D from University of Pune. He has since worked in Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA. He is a well known name in the field of Astrobiology across the world. He had a huge role to play in the Mars mission of NASA. He has travelled to New Zealand, Venenzuela for his work assignments.
For the program, Dr. Parag had got some slides and he explained his complex work in simple and lucid marathi. He had the audience spellbound and engaged throughout his presentation. He has proved that being educated in Marathi medium does not hinder one's capability, much contrary to the thought process of many parents these days! He answered all the questions asked by people in the audience in detail. Despite achieving so much, his humility was a lesson to everyone present in the auditorium. Dhananjay Madan or Appa as he is fondly referred to, used to write letters to Dr. Parag since he left Panvel. As a token of gratitude, Dr. Parag gifted a 'space pen' to Appa! Sadly, due to his work commitments, Appa wasn't present for the function and so Precilia, Appa's daughter received it on his behalf.
Around 140 people were present for this function. The arrangements for the program were immaculate. All in all, it was a great evening for all of us at Nisarga Mitra!