What comes to your mind when asked about youth? For most of the Indians It’s The Missile Man of India.
Former President (25th July 2002 to 25th July 2007) Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. He graduated in Science from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy in 1954. He got his specialization degree in 1957 in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a pioneer in fibre glass technology and led a young team in ISRO which made the rocket motor cases. Dr. Kalam was chosen as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) which in July 1980, successfully placed the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit which brought India amongst the exclusive members of Space Club.
The list of titles and awards given to him is never ending, He has been awarded with the – Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a fellow of many professional institutions. Some of his International Recognitions are – The King Charles-II Medal for Science and Technology in October 2007, The Woodrow Wilson Award in 2008. The International Medal 2008 in June 2009 at London. The Hoover Medal 2008 at New York in April 2009. The International Von Karman Wings Award in September 2009 are just a few.
India secretly conducted a series of underground nuclear tests with five bombs in Pokhran, Rajasthan. Although this was not the first time the country was testing its nuclear weapons, this nuclear test was certainly the memorable and proud moment for India. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was the man behind this successful mission. When the whole world criticized India for the nuclear test, he supported this mission as a chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
He strongly believed in the power and potential in the youth of the country. He had a vision that Indian youth will bring the change within the country, his dream of India 2020. He was known as the youngest president as he strongly believed in mental age.
He had an immense love towards mother. His book “Wings of Fire” has a full moon night which has been portrayed with the title “mother”.
“I still remember the day when I was ten,
Sleeping on your lap to the envy of my elder brothers and sisters.
It was full moon night, my world only you knew Mother!, My Mother!
When at midnight, I woke with tears falling on my knee
You knew the pain of your child, My Mother.
Your caring hands, tenderly removing the pain
Your love, your care, your faith gave me strength,
To face the world without fear and with His strength.
We will meet again on the great Judgment Day. My Mother!”
This is the story of his mother who lived ninety three years, a woman of love, a woman of kindness and above all a woman of divine nature.
This man of honor let his last breath go amongst a crowd of youth while he was addressing on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong On 27 July 2015, around 6:35 p.m.
“All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents”
– Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam
Written By: Varadh Kulkarni