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MUMBAI, India, April 23 (Itar-Tass) — An exhibition devoted to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut, opened at the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai, the Maharashtra state, on Monday. She made her space flight onboard the Vostok-6 spaceship on June 16, 1963.
The exhibition had been organized by the India-based office of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation and opened by Anil Manekar, director at the Nehru Science Center, Alexei Mzareulov, Russia’s deputy general consul, and Vladimir Dementiev, the head of the Russian center of science and culture in Mumbai.
Anil Manekar told Itar-Tass that the exhibition was vitally important for India which is actively developing its space program. He added that Valentina Tereshkova could serve as an example of determination and consistency of purpose to Indian schoolchildren and students visiting the Nehru Science Center.
It is noteworthy that Tereshkova visited India after her flight where she met the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. That meeting is reflected in the materials of the exhibition, which also features Tereshkova’s family photos and pictures taken with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The exhibition’s first visitors were drawn by photographs showing how Tereshkova had trained for her flight after being enrolled to the first squad of cosmonauts on March 12, 1962.
Valentina Tereshkova was born on March 6, 1937. A two-week exposition devoted to her was organized at the Russian centre of science and culture in Mumbai and the Russian center of science and culture in New Delhi on the occasion of her birthday.
“The Indians are well aware of Soviet space achievements. They remember the names of Valentina Tereshkova and Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. The first woman in space is a symbol of equality with men for Indian women many of whom are fighting for their rights. She’s a symbol of struggle which they should continue and in which they should win,” Vladimir Dementiev, the head of the Russian center of science and culture in Mumbai, told Itar-Tass.
After the exhibition’s opening ceremony, a Russian-Indian delegation and children from a school working under the Russian general consulate in Mumbai laid wreaths to the monuments to Yuri Gagarin and the first India-born woman astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died in the U.S. space shuttle Columbia crash.
The monument to Yuri Gagarin was unveiled in late 2011. It is the first and so far the only Russian monument to be erected in Mumbai since the Russian General Consulate opened in the city a hundred and ten years ago.