Thiruvananthapuram, May 23 : Tessy Thomas, a 45-year-old woman scientist, who heads one of the India's key missile projects, is proud of her contribution towards national security.
Thomas is the first Indian woman selected for the post of project director of the upgraded version of the 2000 km-long nuclear capable Agni-II missile.
Dubbed as India's 'missile woman', Thomas is now one of the elite scientists behind India's longest-range nuclear capable missile that can hit targets of up to 3,000 kilometres away.
She is presently the Associate Project Director of the 3,000 kilometre range Agni-III missile project.
"I am happy doing this job. I am part of doing a job for national security. I have been in this field for the last 20 years. I have great satisfaction doing scientific jobs. I have great satisfaction doing a scientific job," said Thomas.
When quizzed further about the program, she refused to say on what version the Agni-III was planned, and said that she would prefer her seniors to talk about it.
Thomas, who is an expert on solid system propellants, said that it is the world outside that is talking about her working in a male bastion environment, but she has never felt that pressure.
"First of all, there is nothing like any discrimination. It is not at all there in our scientific community. We have been treated as scientists. I am one of the scientists who have been picked up like any other project directors. We have three projects right now running parallel-Agni I, II and III and one more version of the new variant for which I have been chosen as the leader," said Thomas who is also referred to as 'Agnipurti'. Thomas says that she has been working diligently over the past 20 years and has managed work as well as the household, and that has paid off.
But what brings a smile to the face of Thomas is the fact that her son 'Tejas', named after another missile is proud of her and wants to call her the missile woman.
Thomas joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after passing out from college. She said that there are seven other women scientists working in top key posts in this programme.