On 27th July, 6:30 PM, the nation lost one of the finest figures it had the privilege of calling a son- Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. The pioneer scientist who enhanced India’s strategic missile programme and made it what it is today, was a man beyond the achievements we can list out.
Born on October 15, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, the Missile Man started selling newspapers to add to the limited family income.
My enthusiasm knew no bounds. I was only eight, but I was going to contribute in a meaningful way to the household income! […] However, my new job had to be fitted into my regular routine,”-Recalled our former president in his autobiography My Journey.
As told by former DRDO chief, Dr Avinash Chander, “He touched the lives of everyone who worked with him.” During the preparation to test the Agni technology demonstrator in 1989, Dr Kalam used to carry his resignation letter in his pocket, owning full responsibility if anything were to go wrong. He placed the success of the project above his position.
His sincerity towards children is reflected in what he calls a milestone in his career
One day an orthopedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic calipers weighing over three Kilograms each, dragging their feet around. He said to me: ‘Please remove the pain of my patients.’ In three weeks, we made these Floor reaction Orthosis 300 gram calipers and took them to the orthopedic center. The children didn’t believe their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was my fourth bliss!
The former president used his struggles not for a self centered goal of financial prosperity, but to uplift the country as a whole. The youth, who he holds so dear to his heart, must not forget the contribution he made for a modernized world. His mission was to ignite the minds of children, enabling them to believe in their potential to give rise to a better India.
Dr Kalam strongly advocated that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. He regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons programme as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. He firmly believed in the strength of our nation, urging the people to not be so negative, but build forward on the good that was taking place.
To sum up his ever victorious life the humble leader said,
I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness?”
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, as part of the youth generation of a modern India, we thank you for your unwavering dedication towards the development of India. We cherish each effort you’ve made to inspire people on a global platform and will protect the legacy you have left behind. You have left us most ironically, while giving a speech in Shillong. Something that always lit the light in people’s mind. Your words inspire us and your actions inspire furthermore. So while you rest in peace Dr Kalam, we will let our country awake.
List of Achievements of the legendary Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam-
|Year||Name of award or honor||Awarding organization|
|2014||Doctor of Science||Edinburgh University,UK|
|2012||Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)||Simon Fraser University|
|2011||IEEE Honorary Membership||IEEE|
|2010||Doctor of Engineering||University of Waterloo|
|2009||Honorary Doctorate||Oakland University|
|2009||Hoover Medal||ASME Foundation, USA|
|2009||International von Kármán Wings Award||California Institute of Technology, USA|
|2008||Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa)||Nanyang Technological University, Singapore|
|2007||King Charles II Medal||Royal Society, UK|
|2007||Honorary Doctorate of Science||University of Wolverhampton, UK|
|2000||Ramanujan Award||Alwars Research Centre, Chennai|
|1998||Veer Savarkar Award||Government of India|
|1997||Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration||Indian National Congress|
|1997||Bharat Ratna||Government of India|
|1994||Distinguished Fellow||Institute of Directors (India)|
|1990||Padma Vibhushan||Government of India|
|1981||Padma Bhushan||Government of India|