Men, women should be treated equally in society and this will avoid rape: Sunita Williams

"Men and women should be treated equally in society. This will avoid the sad incidences like the one that happened in Delhi recently," said Sunita Williams, an acclaimed astronaut of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Addressing the student fraternity at Maharashtra Institute of Technology through video conferencing from the US, she said, "I never looked at myself as a woman in this male dominated career. I never tried to stand out as someone different and gave work my best shot. Instead of saying look at me, I am a woman, I concentrated on my work and that is what matters," said Williams.

Williams broke down twice as she was overwhelmed by the reaction of students. "When we return to our cities, states or countries, we feel happy to be back home. But when I went to space and returned to earth, even though I landed in Khazajistan, I felt at home. The happiness of homecoming is overwhelming," said Williams.

Urging students to choose a field of their interest, she said, "First step is to identify the field of your interest, then find the best organisation and work hard. Be creative, come up with new ideas and become a leader in whichever field you choose."

Stating global warming as a major issue, she said she observed a significant change in earth during her recent journey to space as compared to her last visit in 2007 . "Population has increased and its effect can be seen on everything," said Williams.

Talking about the advent of technology, Williams said, "The next generation will see people going to space more often as the traveling time will be greatly reduced. I hope to be part of the group that makes this dream possible." She added, "To fasten a nut and bolt is very easy here but it may be very difficult or even impossible in the space. All the laws of nature and life are different in space. I am proud to be of Indian race and expect young Indians, especially girls to create history in the field of Science & Astronomy."

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