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Chandrayaan-3 Project Director donates prize money of Rs 25 Lakhs

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New Delhi. ISRO Scientist and project director of lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 Dr. P. Veeramuthuvel, has donated away ₹25 lakh – an amount equivalent to his two years’ salary – received as prize money.

As per reports, the amount was awarded to him by the Tamil Nadu government, as a mark of appreciation for his efforts in the successful landing of the rover on the Moon’s surface. The same reward was also given to eight members of his core team.

“My conscience was not permitting me to take this large amount of award money, hence donation was the best option,” said Dr. Veeramuthuvel as per media reports.

Despite carrying the burden of a ₹72 lakh home loan, Veeramuthuvel decided to donate the amount to the institutions that have shaped him as a scientist.

Therefore, he donated the amount to the alumni associations of Elumalai Polytechnic College, West Tambaram, Chennai; National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli; Sri Sairam Engineering College and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai.

Veeramuthuvel, son of a Railway technician, said the success of Chandrayaan-3 was “more about we and less about me”.

“I come from a poor family, having studied in a government railway school in Villupuram and yet money does not mean much to me. ISRO gives us a rich environment to contribute towards national development and that is most satisfying,” he said.

The scientist also noted that he was working continuously over the past four years for the Chandrayaan-3 mission, and “did not take a single vacation or holiday” during the period.

The lunar mission made Bharat the fourth country, after the US, erstwhile Soviet Union and China, to make a soft-landing on the Moon’s surface. The successful landing on the lunar surface was recorded on August 23.

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