Ahmedabad (Gujarat) , Aug 12 : The year-long centenary celebration of the birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai, father of India's space programme, was kicked off in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Several dignitaries including scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy and members of Sarabhai's family were present on the occasion here.
In a video message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it will be a tribute to Sarabhai from crores of Indians in true sense when Vikram, the lander of Chandrayaan-2, lands on the Moon next month.
"It will be a tribute to Sarabhai from crore of Indians in a true sense when 'Vikram' lander lands on Moon. Vikram Sarabhai's ideology leads India to become a powerful country in the field of science and technology," he said.
Describing Sarabhai as a dedicated soldier of science, Modi said that he encouraged science as well as India's culture and Sanskrit language. He said Sarabhai has left a legacy for us and it is our responsibility to take this legacy to the people.
ISRO chairman K Sivan described Sarabhai as a great institution builder, who made a huge contribution in the construction of modern India by establishing institutions in the fields of Modern Science, Physical Research and Atomic Energy.
"Institutions set up by Vikram Sarabhai have become the Centre of Excellence today. In this sense, Vikram Sarabhai is the true Son of India," said Shivan.
During the inaugural programme, an album on the life story of Vikram Sarabhai, a coffee table book on ISRO and commemorative coin from the Department of Atomic Energy were released.
'Space on Wheels' an exhibition inside a bus was also inaugurated on the occasion.
The centenary programme includes exhibitions, competitions to school children, journalism awards and speeches by eminent personalities.
The programme will be conducted across 100 selected cities all over India and will end on August 12, 2020, with the valedictory function at Thiruvananthapuram.
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