Sep 142022
Review: Passion with Aditi Pant
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Title: Passion with Aditi Pant, Learning TO BE series
Author: Pervin Saket
Illustrator: Boski Jain
Publisher: AdiDev Press
Type: Boardbook
Age: 4-8 yrs

This book is about Dr. Aditi Pant who is an Indian oceanographer and was the first Indian woman to visit Antarctica.

Aditi Pant was born on July 5, 1943 in Nagpur. Aditi’s father, who loved to trek, read, and hike was her role model to achieve what she aimed for and they discussed a lot about their interests on different topics. Her mother taught her how to make dal and sabji, she kept measuring the ingredients and wanted Aditi to achieve consistent results each time but Aditi could not meet her mother’s expectations. Later, this made her realise that one has to measure each and everything in the laboratory to get perfect results.

She completed her BSc at the University of Pune in 1964. One of her father’s friends gifted her the book ‘The Open Sea’. Aditi loved reading it and she decided that she wanted to explore the ocean. She received a scholarship from the US government and did her Master’s degree in Marine Sciences at the University of Hawaii. Then she completed her PhD at Westfield College in 1972 and returned to India in 1973 to work at National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa.

She travelled the west coastal regions of India all the way up to Kanyakumari to do her research. During this time, she and her team slept on the beach and ate the food available in the local shops. Most of the time she was the only woman in the team but she didn’t feel awkward. The fisherwomen helped her a lot by providing hot water to bathe and get her things she needed. This lovely gesture made Aditi feel secure.

In 1983, she joined the third Indian expedition to Antartica along with her friend Dr. Sudipta Sengupta. Her team constructed the first Indian lab at Antarctica. She joined the fifth Indian expedition in 1985 and did her research again. In 1990, she moved to National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and worked there for fifteen years. She was honoured with Antarctic Award by the Indian government for her contributions to the Indian Antarctic programme.

This book is written in rhyme and illustrated beautifully with scenarios that kids could understand easily. For instance, there is a page where her mom measures a spoonful of ingredients and assists Aditi to get perfect taste and also it depicts how strict and disciplined her mom was. The cover page represents do what you love the most zealously.

Both my sons (4.5 yrs and 2.6 yrs old) enjoyed reading this book. They had many questions:
– why the day is spent on the ocean and night on the beach?,
– where do they sleep and what do they eat?,
– why have they have chosen Antarctica and not Arctic?,
– doctor means those who give injections?,
– National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, is this the same place we live (they were excited to know that she had been working in Pune)!

We discussed their interests and explained to them that Aditi had struggled a lot and put in lots of effort to do her research on oceanography and come a long way, how her parents were her role models and taught her moral values at a young age which is the basic foundation. Like Aditi, focus on your passion, and things that interest you a lot.

So, go do the things you love the most and succeed!

This book is part of a bookset called WOMEN IN SCIENCE. You can read Arundhati’s review on Commitment With Bibha Chowdhuri here.

If you enjoyed this review and wish to order the book set of 4 from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),