Trump hails Indian-origin Kalpana Chawla as American hero

Trump's remarks came yesterday as he issued a proclamation declaring May as 'Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month'.

Published: 01st May 2018 03:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2018 03:30 PM   |  A+A-

Indian American Kalpana Chawla became a naturalized US citizen in April 1991. | AFP


 WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has hailed Indian-origin Kalpana Chawla as an American hero for devoting her life to the space programme and inspiring millions of girls to become astronauts.

Trump's remarks came yesterday as he issued a proclamation declaring May as 'Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month'.

The US Congress has also designated the month of May each year as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

"Chawla was the first woman of Indian-origin in space.

She was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 when the craft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

"Indian American Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian descent to fly in space, and became an American hero for her devotion to the Space Shuttle programme and its various missions transporting cargo and crew to and from the International Space Station," Trump said.

For her achievements, the Congress posthumously awarded her the Congressional Space Medal of Honour, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) posthumously awarded her the NASA Space Flight Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, he said.

"Ms Chawla's courage and passion continue to serve as an inspiration for millions of American girls who dream of one day becoming astronauts," said Trump.

The proclamation noted that during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Trump administration recognises their tremendous contributions.

"Through their industriousness and love of country, our nation has enjoyed the privileges and enrichments of multiple innovations and societal advancements," Trump said.

There are more than 20 million Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders who call America home, including those living in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

America, Trump said, is a country that values hard work, an honest living, and a commitment to the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"For these reasons, America cherishes its connections with the Indo-Pacific region, which shares an appreciation for these principles, he asserted.

Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage help to reinforce these relationships, which are stronger today than ever before," he added.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp