ALAPPUZHA: âAgni putriâ Tessy Thomas, the missile woman of India, has come to her ancestral home Thaipparambil at Thathampilly, near here, to celebrate the 75th birthday of her mother Kunjamma Thomas, which falls on Thursday. âOwing to busy job schedule in the DRDO, I didnât get time to visit home often. However, this time I have a weekâs leave. And it will be a gettogether for the entire family as my bothers and sisters have also reached home for the birthday celebrations,â Tessy said.
And this time, the first woman director of the Indian Missile Project is at home with the success story of Agni-IV long-range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, which was test-fired under her direction on November 15. She said hard work led her to the field of missile technology. âAmbition to have a career in missile technology was developed in my mind during a school excursion to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thumba,â Tessy said. She had her schooling from St Josephâs Girls High School, Alappuzha, and pre-degree from the St Josephâs College.
âAfter completing graduation in electrical engineering from the Thrissur Engineering College, I left to Pune to join M Tech in the Defence Institute of Armament Technology (DIAT). Though I visited home during holidays, I was forced to return immediately. The memories of backwaters, Alappuzha town and school, where I spent my childhood, always created nostalgic feelingsâ, Tessy said.
She added that girls are more powerful now. âThey are brilliant and ready to take any challenge. In the DRDO itself, about 15 to 20 per cent employees are women and more girls are being attracted to the field,âshe said. While talking about her next project, she said the entire team in the DRDO was involved in the development of Agni-V, an ICBM with a range of 5,000 km. âWe are planning to test-fire in February or Marchâ she added. Tessyâs father T T Thomas died in 1991 and her mother lives with a sister in Alappuzha.