Under the auspices of the Russian House in Trivandrum (Russian Cultural Centre) A seven-day long festival to mark the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's Space Flight began in Trivandrum. Former deputy director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Mr C.R.Thomas, inaugurated the festival, titled POEHALI (LET'S GO).
In his inaugural address, Mr Thomas said that in 1961, Gagarin had done the impossible. "He launched off the Earth into space and successfully orbited the planet. The flight shocked the world. No one had ever orbited the Earth before. After he became the first human being to have completed a 108 minutes orbital flight, his first quotes were "I see Earth", "I see how beautiful our planet is". Today space technology influences our everyday life. Russia has a great contribution to the development of Space Science Technology. Gagarin's space flight was the most important milestone in that. Indo - USSR/Russia relationship, which began with the launch of Arayabhatta onboard Kosmos 3M in 1975, is continuing. We are awaiting Russian trained Indian astronauts to go onboard Gaganyaan," said Mr Thomas.
Former Scientist at Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Government of India, Mr K. Ashok Kumar, was the Guest of Honour. In his address, Mr Ashok Kumar said that communities worldwide continue to celebrate the monumental achievement of the Russian cosmonaut who dared to do what no person had before.
In his presidential address, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation and Director of the Russian House in Trivandrum, Mr Ratheesh C. Nair, said that sending the first man to space was considered important because it had proved that the former Soviet Union had the best science and technology and economic system. "After the outbreak of the pandemic COVID19, the discovery of vaccine became the criteria to judge the development of a country's science and technology. Russia had come up with the first vaccine. That had become yet another proud moment. The authorities in Russia gave a proper name to the vaccine SPUTNIK V," said Ratheesh Nair.
Assistant Director of the Russian House in Trivandrum Ms Kavitha Nair briefed the important events to be organised as part of the celebrations. She said that the Russian House would organise competitions for college students, series of seminars, film screenings, get together of people in Kerala with name GAGARIN and exhibitions. The festival is being organised in association with the Indo-Russian Youth Club and Russia -India Friendship Association.