Google Doodle is celebrating the 104th birthday of renowned but underrated physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani on Tuesday, August 23rd. She is one of the biggest names in Indian physics whose work has enabled us to make accurate weather forecasts.
In addition to weather forecasts, her work has helped India achieve success in the field of renewable energy. Interestingly, she shares her alma mater with renowned scholar K. V. Raman, lawyers V. L. Ethiraj and S. P. Ramaswami Iyer, as they are all from Tamil Nadu and studied at the Presidential College in Madras.
Anna Mani is considered a national icon of women’s empowerment in the country as she broke stereotypes by challenging gender norms and achieving success in a male-dominated field. Here is Anna Mani’s inspiring life story.
Google Doodle: who is Anna Mani?
Anna Mani was born into a Syrian Christian family in the village of Peerumade, Kerala on August 23, 1918. The work of Anna Mani, an avid reader, has inspired India’s work on renewable energy and weather forecasts.
There is an anecdote about her childhood that she once refused a set of diamond earrings and demanded a set of Encyclopedia Brittanica when she was 8 years old.
She graduated in Physics and Chemistry from the prestigious Presidency College Madras (now Chennai) and received a research fellowship from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). After that, she entered the Imperial College London to study physics, and later became interested in meteorological instruments.
Before leaving for London, she was a tutor at a women’s Christian college. At IISc she studied spectroscopy under Nobel Prize winner Sir CV Raman. In 1948 she returned to India to make meteorological instruments.
She lived up to expectations and produced about 100 meteorological instruments for India. Later, she organized a workshop for the production of instruments for measuring wind speed and solar energy.
Google Doodle: What is she famous for?
Although her whole life has been inspirational, we can highlight a few events that made her famous all over the world. A physicist with Gandhi values, Anna wore khadi clothing. In addition to being a prolific scientist, she was also a patriotic citizen who left her lucrative lifestyle abroad to work in India.
She was a supporter of alternative energy sources. In 1950, she set up a network of solar radiation monitoring stations and published many papers on sustainable energy measurement. Measuring the weather forecast has been one of her biggest contributions.
In 1987, she became the Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and was awarded the Ramanathan Medal of the Indian National Academy of Sciences (INSA) for her contributions to the country and science. In 2001, on August 16, she died in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Google Doodle: What Makes Anna Money a National Icon?
The life of Anna Mani was an inspiring journey for many nationalists. She was a supporter of the civil disobedience movement and wore only khadi as a symbol of her national identity.
After studying in London, she had the opportunity to stay and work there. But her love for India brought her back home. As a result, it produced hundreds of pieces of meteorological equipment and contributed to the science of India.
Written by Zuhair Zaidi