Nehru Planetarium Director Dr Nandivada Rathnasree succumbs to COVID-19

New Delhi: Director of the Nehru Planetarium, Nandivada Rathnasree, 57, died on Sunday after being infected with Covid-19 pandemic, said a Culture Ministry statement on Tuesday.

In a statement on Twitter and Facebook, the Ministry, under which the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) and planetarium function, said, “Extremely saddened to learn about the unfortunate demise of Dr. N. Rathnasree, Director of Nehru Planetarium under @_NMML_ passed away on Sunday. Heartfelt condolences to the family & prayers for the departed soul & God to provide strength to the bereaved family.”

According to a Ministry official, she had been suffering from COVID-19. 

Rathnasree was also a member of the Astronomical Society of India, which expressed its condolences on Tuesday. Issuing a statement, the society said, “An avid astronomy communicator and accomplished pulsar astronomer, she was pivotal in most astronomy outreach projects of ASI in the last two decades. When ASI formally set up its Public Outreach and Education Committee (POEC) in 2014, Rathnasree was the unanimous choice to be its first chair and she has been a part of the POEC ever since.”

Remembering Ratnasree’s notable contributions, the society said, “Till just a fortnight ago, she was involved in organising ‘Astro Adda’ a fortnightly online discussion session with the students. In early May, she caught the infection, which quickly overwhelmed her.” 

During her years in Delhi, Ratnasree was a focal point for the amateur astronomy community in and around the capital.

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