The Chandrayaan-3 project director, P Veeramuthuvel, will donate Rs 25 lakh that he recently received from the Tamil Nadu government. He intends to donate the sum to the alumni associations of the four Tamil Nadu institutions where he completed his studies.
In a letter, Sandhya Venugopal Sharma, additional secretary in the department of space, wrote to A Karthik, principal secretary of the higher education department in Tamil Nadu, saying that Veeramuthuvel will donate to Elumalai Polytechnic College in Villupuram, Sri Sairam Engineering College, NIT- Trichy and IIT-Madras alumni associations equal amount of award money.
The Tamil Nadu government honored the state's ISRO scientists in October for their accomplishments in space research. Each of them received a cash award of Rs 25 lakhs.
According to Dr. Veeramuthuvel, the reason Chandrayaan's success was "more about we and less about me" was that the award needed to be shared, and the best place to give it was to the institutions that influenced him, as reported by NDTV.
"My conscience was not permitting me to take this large amount of award money, hence donation was the best option," said Dr. Veeramuthuvel.
The rocket scientist claimed that this was the first award money he had ever received.
With a monthly take-home pay of approximately ₹1 lakh, Dr. Veeramuthuvel donates more than two years' worth of potential earnings to his alma mater.
Knowing P Veeramuthuvel
P Veeramuthuvel, a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization who was born in Tamil Nadu, oversaw the Chandrayaan-3 mission as project director. Son of a railway worker, he attended Tamil Nadu's government schools after being born in Villupuram. He succeeded Muthayya Vanitha, who oversaw the Chandrayaan-2 mission as its project director. He was also instrumental in the Chandrayaan-2 mission, coordinating with NASA on the project's prospects and science.