Vikram Sarabhai Life Story

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s Life story and His Stupendous Achievements!

Let me ask you if you ever thought of a goal in your twenties.

Imagine some people attaining their goals and accomplishing all of these ones after another at the age of 28!

Such is the inspirational life story of legendary personality, Dr Vikram Sarabhai.

From a Doctorate degree to an innovator, physicist, speaker, and astronomer, I can write endlessly about Dr. Sarabhai’s successful journey.

At an age where we are unable to take responsibility for ourselves, he took responsibility for India in the subjects of Science and Technology.

You would need to read his complete story to know more about this legend…

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Bio

Full Name: Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
Date of Birth : 12th August 1919
Place of Birth: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Nationality: Indian
Date of Demise: 30th December 1971
Demise Place : Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Profession: Indian Astronomer and Physician
Known As : Father of the Indian space program

Vikram Sarabhai Facts, Rewards and Recognition

India’s Prestigious Padma Bhushan Award (1966)

Padma Vibhushan (1972) (another prestigious award by India)

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize

A crater on the moon is titled in his name in his honour. This recognition was given by the International Astronomical Union, Sydney, Australia.

– A Postal Stamp of the Indian Postal Department was released on the first death anniversary of Sarabhai.

Vikram Sarabhai post stamp 1972
Photo :

He was also known as the Cradle of Space Sciences of India.

Served as the President of the Physics Section, India Science Congress in 1962.

-President of all the General Conferences held by I.A.E.A in Vienna in 1970.

Sarabhai was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (1966-1971).

The Fourth UN Conference on ‘Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy’ also honoured him with the Vice-President’s Role.

-Google Doodle of India remembered Sarabhai on his 100th birthday.

Photo: Google

Also known as the Father of the Indian Space Program.

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s Life Story

Dr. Sarabhai was an honourable and respectable physicist, an industrialist who is known for his unique innovations and inspiring thoughts.

He was also honoured for bringing to life the Indian Space Research Organization (also referred to as ISRO). Sarabhai strongly felt the need for a space agency in India and thus, he did all he could to bring ISRO live.

Initially, he began the Indian National Committee for Space Research, which was later renamed ISRO.

Sarabhai also dedicated a quote on the same;

There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose.

We do not have the fantasy of competing with economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space flight.

But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.

Sarabhai not only selflessly served the country; he also took care of his family in a well-balanced manner.

His wife was a well-renowned dancer and Sarabhai supported her completely in her dreams too.

A big dance institute was established by the couple for all those who wanted exposure and a career in dance.

Vikram Sarabhai Education

Sarabhai was born into a well-to-do family of industrialists. His birthplace was Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Sarabhai completed his doctorate degree from Cambridge University.

On his return to India, he established the Physical Research Laboratory and he was only 28!

Post the Indian Independence Movement, Sarabhai’s family also contributed greatly in the nation’s development.

Vikram Sarabhai Family

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai with family
Dr. Vikram – Mrinalini Sarabhai (Wife) – Kartikeya Sarabhai (Son) – (Photo source)

Vikram Sarabhai was married to a world-renowned dance performer, Shri Mati Mrinalini Sarabhai, in 1942.

Photo (B 1918 – D 2016)

The couple had two children out of their wedlock :

via Facebook

Mallika Sarabhai was born in 1954.

Profession: Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam Dancer, Actress and politician

via Facebook

Kartikeya Sarabhai was born in 1947.

Profession: Founder and Director, (CEE) Chairman of Ambalal Sarabhai Enterprises

Sarabhai started showing interest in cosmic rays and studied the upper atmosphere. His interests further expanded to theoretical physics, radiophysics, and other sports activities too.

Contribution of Dr Vikram Sarabhai

It was Dr. Vikram who supported Homi Bhabha in the setup of India’s first rocket launch station.

The first flight that was launched at this station was on 21st November 1963. The base was built in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Thiruvananthapuram.

Organizations & Institutes Established by Dr Vikram Sarabhai

Some of the other major works and institutes established by Dr. Sarabhai are as follows;

  • Sarabhai launched a project of India’s first artificial satellite that orbits the Earth. It was completed in July 1976.
  • India’s first market research organization to provide modern analytical research was also established by Sarabhai. The organization was named the Operations Research Group.
  • Establishment of Indian Institute Management (IIM-A), Ahmedabad
  • Dance Academy in honour of his wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai (world-renowned classical dance performer). The academy was named as Darpan Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad
  • Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
  • Faster Breeder Test Reactor, Kalpakkam
  • Uranium Corporation of India Limited, Bihar
  • Variable Energy Cyclotron Project, Kolkatta
  • Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad (merging of six institutions was done by Sarabhai)
  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre VSCC and many more…

/Must Read/

How did Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Die?

In the year 1971, Sarabhai was in Kerala in a hotel where he took his last breath while watching the launch of Russian Rocket.

He was only 52 when he passed away.

At a very young age, Sarabhai made marvellous contributions to India. It is almost impossible to repay such noble souls.

The only sad part is he could not see his own successful initiation of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment which was held in association with NASA in 1976. It is because he passed away in 1971.

It is so amazing that Sarabhai also worked with the Russian Space Agency to manufacture and launch India’s first Satellite.

Unfortunately, when Aryabhatta was launched in 1975 in orbit by the Russians, Sarabhai missed seeing that too.

He is no more with us, but his contributions will be remembered for centuries.

Vikram Sarabhai – Life Story’s Motivational Message

What could be more inspiring than the story, accomplishments, and contributions of this legend? It was Dr. Sarabhai who helped set up permanent recording stations at three various locations in India post-independence.

This base not only helped him but also helped the other researchers as well in their analysis and observations. Sarabhai strongly believed that science and technology go hand in hand.

It is very important to relate these two together to see Modern India and that is what he proved through his amazing contributions to India.

Sarabhai worked days and nights rigorously to help India adapt to the advancements of technology in order to solve the problems of people and society at large.

Sarabhai has not only helped India in innovation, technology, and science; he has been an eye-opener to many researchers in India by giving them the scope of work.

During the times, when India just got its Independence, Sarabhai took charge of various fields and proved that India can work well independently in the respective subjects that he excelled in.

From adults to children, everyone remembers his great achievements and motivational speeches as an innovator.

In fact, most schools have chapters about him that is taught to the children to remember Sarabhai’s quotes, thoughts, and majorly his innovations.

These kids grow up and some of them follow the footsteps of Sarabhai by joining his institutes. It is Sarabhai’s strong belief that science and technology together can make India a better living place with modern amenities.

Vikram Sarabhai Quotes

“…Choosing to lead one kind of life means putting aside the desire to pursue other options.”

Dr Vikram Sarabhai Quotes


“One wants permissive individuals who do not have a compelling need to reassure themselves that they are leaders.”

Vikram Sarabhai Quotes


“Basic social and economic change needs to brought about gradually and the more carefully and thoughtfully it is affected, the more permanent it will be.”

 “…with adequate support, confrontation at the right time pays off.”


“Failure is not about not succeeding. Rather it is about not putting in your best effort and not contributing, however modestly, to the common good.”

“I have often claimed that I have had but, one good idea in my life: that true development is the development of women and men.”

“What, therefore, is a government at its best? It is a government that “governs” least and instead finds ways to mobilize the energies of our people.”

When you stand above the crowd, you must be ready to have stones thrown at you.

No great importance is given to mere experience.

He who can listen to the music in the midst of noise can achieve great things.

“A person who does not have respect for time, and does not have a sense of timing, can achieve little.”

If you have a goal to accomplish, take these above motivational sayings to implement the legend’s thoughts in your personal life.

Recently, Sarabhai completed his 100th birth anniversary. Although he left the nation at an early age, the nation still remembers him on his anniversary.

He was everywhere on the Indian Google Doodle pages too during his birth anniversary.

What do we realize from Dr Sarabhai’s Life History?

That we need more of Sarabhais in our country! what if all build some of his qualities in our real lives? Perhaps, it will help us to excel in the fields we are associated with.

You don’t have to follow the legends’ subjects necessarily to be a legend.

You need to understand their way of living, the qualities they built, and the journey they took to accomplish their respective goals.

For instance, the self-belief that Sarabhai carried for himself and the nation made it possible to reach where we are today in space, science, and technology.

Sarabhai’s name can never be forgotten from the books of India.

Another important quality to notice is his true entrepreneurial skills where he gave priority to talent and people’s education to make India better rather than giving preference to making money as a businessman.

Those were the days when businessmen knew the right values of the business and what it takes to consider your motherland as your own home.

The third quality that we realize through this legend’s works is his unbeatable hard work. One after another, he established so many institutes and research centres for students to learn something beyond the typical logic of the world. It clearly shows how visionary was this man.

The passion that he carried with him in his vision won the hearts of not only the individuals but, also other influential political personalities who came further to support his endeavours.

These businessmen knew the true definition of a successful and independent India. Despite how accomplished he was, he still strives to find more scope and make India a better place in terms of its stand.

We also realize through his life story that you not only have to necessarily get into politics if you wish to do something for the betterment of India, all you need is some vision and a subject to have deep study, find more scope, see the growth, understand the gaps, and help where you can.

Dr Vikram Sarabhai’s Story: Conclusion

Lastly, I appreciate Viral Indian Diary covering such brilliant stories that inspire people across the globe. It is my immense pleasure to be associated with them as a writer and to write about such great personalities of our country.

If there is anything that you would like to share or discuss with Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, feel free to share your comments with us.

We would love to hear from you. Do share this story on your social platforms, and let the contributions of this legendary personality be remembered once again.

It would also be amazing to share this story if you have kids at home.

The children of our country are the future of this Nation and they must know the roots that helped build us where we are today.

People like Sarabhai are the roots of India.

Thus, it is the reason why our country stands strong despite the challenges and risks it has faced in so many years.

Sources : Britannica | Business-Standard | nmspacemuseum |

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