Mumbai, November 10: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists' engineering prowess was showcased during the Chandrayaan-3 mission, and now their charitable actions are establishing them as new philanthropic idols. The hands-on leader of the lander, Vikram, who is still in debt for his house loan, has given his alma mater more than two years' worth of his take-home pay.

The 46-year-old project director of Chandrayaan-3, P Veeramuthuvel, is the son of a railway technician, and he led the historic soft landing of Vikram lander on the south pole of the moon. Chandrayaan 3 Moon Landing: From ISRO Chief S Somnath to Project Director Dr P Veeramuthuvel, Know the Men Behind India's Third Lunar Mission.

On Gandhi Jayanti, the Tamil Nadu government gave him and eight of his state colleagues Rs  25 lakh each as a reward for their incredible achievement. At this point, Veeramuthuvel has made the decision to give the whole sum to the alumni groups of the universities where he studied.

The director of the UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, Dr M Sankaran, is another scientist who has made the decision to donate the Rs 25 lakh award money to the alumni associations of the Raja Serforji Government Arts and Science College in Thanjavur and the Thanthai Periyar Government Arts and Science College in Thiruchirapalli.

According to Dr. Veeramuthuvel, Chandrayaan's accomplishment was "more about we and less about me" because the prize needed to be shared, and the best place to distribute it was to the institutions that influenced him. My conscience was not permitting me to take this large amount of award money. Hence, donation was the best option, he added. The rocket scientist claimed that this was the first prize money he had ever received. Chandrayaan 2 Project Director Not Included in Third Moon Mission Team of ISRO.

Dr Veeramuthuvel wants to equally divide the Rs 25 lakh award among the alumni associations of Elumalai Polytechnic College, Villupuram; Sri Sairam Engineering College, West Tambaram, Chennai; National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirapalli; and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Chennai, according to a letter written by Sandhya Venugopal Sharma, the additional secretary for the Department of Space, to the Tamil Nadu government.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 10, 2023 08:22 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website