Roots and Wings: News and Praise

Women Engineering Pioneers: A Look Back With Dr. Shantha Mohan



K. Subramanian

September 18, 2018

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
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Customer Review

Amazon Customer


3 October 2018

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase


Customer Review


October 20, 2018

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Customer Review

T. Sridhar

October 8, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

Customer Review


October 3, 2018

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Customer Review


22 October 2018

This book, Roots and Wings : Inspiring Stories of Indian Women in Engineering – is a great compilation of inspiring stories of women Engineers who graduated from College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. The best part is that each story is narrated so well, making the book engaging like a novel. There are many interesting facts and personal stories. Young people who are curious to learn about how it was to become an Engineer in those days, particularly women – must read this interesting book. Well researched and the author, Dr Shantha Mohan, who is also an alumnae of College of Engineering, Guindy, has taken pains to contact so many of them and elicited interesting anecdotes about these women’s journey. This book is a record of history which has to be present in all the libraries so that the future generations would learn about the ladies who took the less travelled path, early on and contributed significantly to the society.

Customer Review

avid reader

January 18, 2019

As a woman STEM professional whose mind has turned towards the history of feminism in India, I approached this book from a slightly different perspective. The exhaustive research done by Ms. Mohan does more than tell inspiring stories of individual women. Taken together, the stories shed light on an important time in Indian women’s history.

During the years just prior to Independence and soon after, India went through a renaissance. It was about questioning conservative ideas and discarding the ones that were seen as damaging. Some of the women profiled in this book came from families where fathers, and often also mothers and grandmothers (most of them illiterate), supported the education of their daughters. Usually, they did this despite the opposition of relatives, neighbors, and other community members. There was a great deal of risk and sacrifice, but the education of women was seen by these pioneers (families as well as individual women) as an unadulterated good — for the individuals, their families, their communities, and the nation.

The women students knew that a lot was riding on their shoulders and they made it their mission to make the most of the opportunities available to them, and to make the same available to the women who came after.

In hindsight, success seems inevitable. But, when in the trenches, it is not so. The profiles in this book bring out the truth of this observation. So, hats off to these foremothers of today’s Indian women engineers.

The photo attached to this review is of present-day women scientists who took India to space.

One final note – the feminism a reader will encounter in this book is of a different nature than its better known Western counterpart. It is like Indian culture and worked well in Indian culture — adaptive, determined, and less confrontational.

Anyone who has an interest in how social change started and how it succeeded in India will enjoy reading this book.