Sunita Williams visits her ancestral village in Gujarat
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams who is on a 10-day tour of India visited her ancestral village Jhulasan after making stops at Munbai, West Bengal and New Delhi. Sunita said staying away from voting in a democratic set up is tantamount to losing one's moral right to complain about deficiencies in the system, while visiting the Gujarat Technological University.
Sunita Williams with children during her visit to Jhulasan. (PTI)
Sunita Williams, who had cast her vote through the absentee ballot in the US presidential elections, said youths should participate in electoral democracy.
Sunita Williams wearing a turban presented during a felicitation function in Ahmedabad. (PTI)
"Exercising my franchise is something that I take seriously. If you don't vote and then complain about the system, you don't have the right to complain as you've not participated in the process," she said.
Sunita Williams hugs a woman during her visit to Jhulasan. (AP)
"The only negative aspect about democracy is that change is slow. But, that in a way, is good as rapid (overnight) change is always dangerous. While, slow, evolutionary changes are good for society," Sunita said, bringing the curtains down on her 10-day tour of India.
Sunita Williams prays inside a temple during her visit to Jhulasan. (PTI)
When asked about her definition of success, Williams said, "Success is doing things you like, studying what you want to study and finding things that make you happy. There is no specific formula for it. Work hard for what you want to achieve".
Sunita Williams with children dressed as Astronauts during her visit to Jhulasan. (PTI)
Ahead: Sunita Williams in Mumbai
US astronaut Sunita Williams said it would be a dream to go to the moon but in the long run she would like to be a science school teacher. "We are potentially building a new spacecraft. I would love to be a part of that. Building a new vehicle is always benefited by people who have experience.
Williams, 47, who holds the world record for the most spacewalk time - 50 hours 40 minutes - by a female astronaut, is in India on a week-long trip.
Sunita Williams speaks at Working Women's Hostel in Mumbai which is her third stop after New Delhi and West Bengal. (PTI)
Asked if it gets lonely out there in space, Sunita Williams said: "No, it doesn't get lonely. There is enough connection to Earth that you don't really feel all alone. You can make phone calls to friends and family."
Sunita Williams looks at the National Emblem, which was presented to her at the Working Women's Hostel. (PTI)
Talking about her role models the celebrated astronaut said, "My parents are on the top of the list of my role models. I also know a lot about Mahatma Gandhi and have also heard about Mother Teresa".
Women reach out to shake hands with Sunita Williams at the event. (AP)
Sunita appeared enthusiastic about the "space tourism" concept, saying it would provide more people the chance to experience the thrills of space. She also advised students to shun drugs and alcohol.
School girls cheer for Sunita Williams holding her photographs during her visit to Working Women's Hostel.
Ahead: Sunita Williams in West Bengal. (PTI)
Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams exchanges greetings with West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan at Governor's house in Kolkata (PTI)
Ahead: Sunita Williams in New Delhi. (PTI)
Sunita Williams holds a world record for the longest space flight by a woman but as a child the Indian American astronaut had never thought about voyaging into space ever. "I never envisioned to be an astronaut and had many failures, but ultimately I reached here," said Williams while interacting with students at the National Science Centre here. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
Williams, has a total of 50 hours and 40 minutes of spacewalking time over seven spacewalks, the record for number of spacewalks for a female, and most spacewalk time for a female. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
So while she has "pretty much seen the whole of India" from space she is excited to explore more of the country which she is visiting five years after she came here last in the year 2007. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)
Sunita Williams at the National Science Centre (NSC) in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
Sunita told reporters in New Delhi that she gorged on samosas in space and also "took a copy of the Upanishads, a copy of the Bhagvad Gita."
Sunita shows a picture (space pix) to students and teachers at the National Science Centre (NSC). (PTI)
Sunita Williams, who will be visiting Gujarat during her India visit, told reporters that she wants to visit Mars next. (PTI)
She also said that she was lucky to have a supportive husband and family.
Sunita Williams being presented with a paper scroll with greetings of students at the National Science Centre. (PTI)
Sunita Williams, who will be handed honorary doctorate degree by the Gujarat Technological University at Chandkheda on April 6, said: "I have been in space. So, I have pretty much seen the whole of India. My father is from Ahmedabad. So I have seen that part of India. In this trip, I'm excited to see eastern side of India. I have never been there. Also I want to go to the mountains. The Indian-American astronaut will be working in Russia for about a year now. (PTI)