Sarabhai was a genius. His fame had spread to many countries. We have to remember him
forever for his work on cosmic rays and atomic power. There is also another important
reason toremember this great man. He tried to secure for our country an honored place in
the scientific world. He was always earnestly thinking how our lives can be improved and
our objects achieved through science.
Vikram Sarabhai was a very modest and simple man. He always spoke gently. He was very
polite. He was a great scientist and an efficient administrator; moreover, he treated
others with friendliness and sympathy. He had very heavy work; his responsibilities, too,
were great. He had no leisure at all. But yet, to the last, he remained a lover of beauty.
He was not the kind of scientist who sits alone on a mountain peak far from all, living
beings and society. For twenty years he looked after the group of the industrial concerns
of his family. He had the unique fortune to combine extraordinary learning rich industrial
experience and great wealth. Those who have even one of these are usually not modest and
friendly. But Sarabhai, who held learning, power and
money in the palm of his hand, was very modest and friendly. Sometimes, people who did not
know how busy he was would waste his time with their long tales of difficulties and
misfortunes. Sarabhai would listen to them patiently and comfort them. If some one asked,
"Aren't they wasting your precious time?", he would reply, "In our vast
land people come from many backgrounds. Not every one is lucky enough to have the
education we have. So, we have to listen to everything they say to understand what is in
To be in the company of Sarabhai was itself a pleasure. Even if he did not speak a word,
his very smile would encourage his fellow workers. Even if a man carried a number of
problems to him the moment the man saw Sarabhai's bright and hopeful eyes and smile, he
would feel that he could himself solve his own problems. He
inspired such confidence in his men. He was always ready to help any one who was in
trouble or difficulties. One day, a coolie was drawing a handcart loaded with heavy boxes.
He was finding it difficult to draw it inside the Institute. When Sarabhai saw this, he
ran to his help and pushed the cart. In the early days of the Institute, he would not seek
anybody's help to move heavy equipment from room to room. He would do it himself.
He looked 'on all men as equals. Even a servant could approach him
freely, without feeling inferior. He would offer him a seat and let him speak frankly and
without hesitation. Sarabhai believed that all men, whatever their status, should be
treated with respect. He would' not ignore any man just because the man was poor or
ignorant or illiterate. He firmly believed that a man should be judged not by his salary
but by his work and responsibility. He wanted every one to work hard for the good of the
organization of which he was a part.
His clothes were always simple. In the beginning he was
fond of loud colored shirts; on one day he wore bright green, on the next day dark blue,
on another day red and so on, changing the color every day. Later on he changed over to
pyjamas, ordinary kurta and sandals.