Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams told the Indian students stranded in the United States to think of ways to become a productive and positive addition to society. During a virtual interaction streamed Live on social media platforms, the NASA astronaut said that even just staying at home and being responsible amidst pandemic gives the opportunity to be a part of “something much bigger than yourself”.
Live with Sunita Williams | Embassy of India Student Hub https://t.co/DTHffrHIDq— India in USA (@IndianEmbassyUS) May 1, 2020
Williams compared the current situation of students stuck in the US away from home to her experience in a spacecraft where she has to spend days away from family and friends. The 54-year-old astronaut also highlighted the importance of taking care of one’s self in this unprecedented situation.
“Isolation also provides a time to reflect and think about what really makes you tick and how you can be a productive, active, positive addition to society,” she said.
Williams joined the virtual session from her kitchen in Houston, where she is undergoing training for another human spaceflight in 2021. Sharing her current experience of social distancing measures, the astronaut said that she takes her dog for a walk every morning. She added that there are a lot of kids in the neighbourhood who come together to do some exercise while abiding the social distancing measures.
Indian students praised Williams for sharing her thoughts during a crisis situation and called her an inspiration. India Student Hub volunteer Cherie Singh said that Williams gave her the impetus to follow her fascination with aircraft and spacecraft and take up Aerospace Engineering in undergrad.
“It was brilliant to get the perspective of an astronaut who experienced social isolation from the whole mankind! I also realised that she is a regular person like all of us - that we don’t have to become a ‘superhuman’ in one day to be a part of one of mankind’s greatest achievements,” said Arshiah Yusuf Mirza.