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The Exhilarating Journey Of Former President APJ. Abdul Kalam Showing Us Every Dream Has Endless Possibilities!

Updated on August 13, 2015

A True Gem in The Making: Early Years of Dr. APJ. Abdul Kalam

“They don’t make people like him anymore!” This famous saying aptly fits the description of our late President, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam.The gem who gave the best to society, was born on 15th of October, 1939, in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. The son of a humble boat owner, his parents were uneducated but they wanted the very best for him. Hence, they encouraged him to study. His day started at 4 am and ended only by 11 in the night. His father’s best friend was the Hindu priest from Rameswaram temple. Thus we can say that he was brought up in a secular multi-religious, tolerant society with a global outlook.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam | Source

Scientific Inclinations Of This Great Leader Brought India Laurels

His intellect was so refined and of such a high calibre, that soon after he graduated in Physics, he enrolled to learn aerospace engineering. Though he narrowly missed qualifying for a fighter pilot, he went ahead and joined DRDO as a scientist. In fact his scientific leanings were obvious after he designed a helicopter for the Indian army. Recognition of calibre came when he was a part of INCOSPAR Committee under the leadership of the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. By 1969, he was working with ISRO. Here too he was the project head of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle that was deployed Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in 1980.

Rohini Satellite
Rohini Satellite | Source

So good was he at his job that his projects even though were sometimes frowned upon by the union cabinet was given support and secret funding by the political supremos. The erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave him secret funds to support his projects ‘Valiant and Devil’ which was aimed at developing ballistic missiles. He was given the coveted position of chief executive in Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, which aimed at developing many missiles under the mission. Dr.Kalam had a major role to play in Mission Agni and Prithvi and Pokhran-II. From 1992 to 1999 he was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the PM plus secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. His true test as a scientist was in developing a low cost coronary stent and rugged tablet computer in health care in rural areas along with Soma Raju.

The People’s President was Par Excellence!

Dr.Kalam served as the 11th President of India. In fact, he won by a thumping majority of votes having the support of all political parties. He being a remarkable statesperson never did blindly follow the status quo. His deep faith in humanity and students always saw him encouraging them to deeply introspect and ask questions to garner knowledge from all sources. He was the first scientist to occupy a seat in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Keeping the large population of India in mind, he was all for uniform civil code through the country.

Knowledge Makes You Great… Take Kalam, The President’s Poll

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was also addressed as

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Kalam’s Illustrious Achievements Illuminated The World

Whatever we pen down celebrating his achievements and awards, will seem to be just like a drop in an ocean. Let’s try to do justice to this towering personality by looking into some of his exploits.

Wings of Fire
Wings of Fire | Source
  • In an extremely rare show of unity all political parties unanimously voted for Mr.Kalam as President in 2001...that’s a rare achievement.
  • His soul searching and mind stirring speeches at the UN and the European Parliament are the best. His simple yet dignified oratory skills endeared him to all.
  • Even after his term as a President he continued to inspire the youth by being a visiting faculty in many institutions. ‘Wings of Fire’ and ‘India 2020’ are modern classics which will continue to motivate Indian youth for years to come.
  • His vision of India as a superpower with every Indian being an innovative and unique thinker and worker are something which all are working towards, all thanks to the inspiration provided by him.

India 2020
India 2020 | Source

He Amassed Awards…But In Reality He Won Us Over!

The Indian Government conferred upon him the Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. The Ramanujan and Distinguished fellow and Veer Savarkar award too went to him. This proved that he was a distinguished scientist and a brave patriot. Internationally the world honoured him with Doctorate of Science, Engineering, Law, Hoover Medals, King Charles Medal and many more right from countries like USA to UK.

India A Superpower by 2020: Great Steps Implemented in the Right Direction!

Dr.Kalam always believed and said that the spirit of giving is better than taking. This he tried his best to instil in the youth. His e-paper in Billion Beats in circulation since 2007 was recently converted to a Facebook page, where he shared his views and interacted with all achievers. TIFAC under his chairmanship wanted to double the GDP of India. The 5 core areas namely agriculture, infrastructure, education, technology and communications were to be enhanced. The dream which he wanted to achieve by 2020 was to transform India into a super power by the year 2020. PURA... meaning, Provision of Urban Amenities to rural areas was on his top list. Then of course the ‘Igniting Minds’, his best seller was converted into a programme by which all the top scientists were available electronically to all for interaction, with him leading the lot.

Timeless Books That Light A Spark In All Minds!

A President with excellent oratory powers!! One who could put his thoughts in words, for the world to read and share. It was heartening to see how easily his books written by him turned into bestsellers. Mention must be made of Ignited Minds, My Journey- Transforming Dreams into Actions, Luminous Sparks Mission India, Turning Point, Forge your future. The delightful part about all his books was they showed the power of the mind and how dreams can turn into a reality just by your own efforts. The lovely songs and poetry he penned, gives a peep into his artistic psyche.

Books Written by Dr. Kalam
Books Written by Dr. Kalam | Source

The book of this former president which was also converted into a programme

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An Inspiration Forever: A Glow that lit the Whole World with Goodness!

Who can forget his quotes.They filled everyone with a fire of enthusiasm and spurred them into action, an action to achieve something in life. His very famous and touching quotes are, “That it is very easy to defeat someone but very hard to win someone” “Dream is not something which you see while you are sleeping but it is something which does not let you sleep”, “we are all born with a divine fire within us, our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness”. These lines by him are still spreading luminous a glow in the world even after he is no more.

What did Kalam equate one good friend to in his quote?

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