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Kerala celebrates as local son Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair gears up for Gaganyaan space mission

Palakkad's Nenmara neighborhood is abuzz with excitement as local hero Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair is named for India's groundbreaking space mission, Gaganyaan, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

PTI Palakkad (Kerala) Published 27.02.24, 03:10 PM
Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair

Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair Screengrab: X/@PCMohanMP

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the names of four astronauts undergoing training for the groundbreaking Gaganyaan mission, residents of Nenmara here on Tuesday erupted in joy as one of them, Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, hails from their locality.

Though his family members were in Thiruvananthapuram to witness the PM unveiling the names of the astronauts, Nair's neighbours and friends could not contain their excitement.


Nair's house in Nenmara seemed to remain closed, but neighbours, people's representatives, and news channel reporters gathered in front of it to share their happiness over the unique achievement.

An elderly woman in Nair's neighbourhood reminisced fond memories of his childhood and said she was sure that he would have reached a good position. But this achievement was beyond her expectations, she said.

"I was sitting in front of the television till now to see the Prime Minister announcing his name. Prasanth was such a good child...I have known him since he was four or five years old," the elated neighbour told a television channel.

The woman also gave complete credit for Nair's growth to his parents, whom she said was responsible for moulding a good person like him.

In his address, the Prime Minister, however, conveyed some concerns about the celebrity attention to the four astronaut-designates which can create disturbance in their training.

"I urge all people, including media professionals, to allow them to do their duties without hindrances. It's the beginning of the real story. Let's support them to the fullest," Modi said.

Nenmara MLA K Babu, who visited Nair's house, said the excitement of people was beyond words.

"He has now become a pride of not just Kerala but of the entire nation," the legislator said.

PM Modi announced the names of the four astronauts who are undergoing training for the country's maiden human space flight mission, Gaganyaan during a function held at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram.

The four astronauts are -- Group Captains Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Pratap, Ajit Krishnan, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla, he said bestowing 'astronaut wings' to them.

The PM said they are four forces that encompass the aspirations of 1.4 billion people of the country.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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