Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is a well known scientist and administrator of India. He served as the eleventh president from 2002 to 2007. He was a man with a vision and a great knowledge. He understood the power of youth and influenced them to do their share for the upliftment of the society. His speeches are motivating and his writings are incredible. Though he did not have any sound background he is the right example who proved that will and ability to achieve matter more than a affluent background. Even today when he no longer rules the nation, he is the role model for every youngster who wants his life to be meaningful. 

Early Life
 
Kalam was born in the coastal town of Rameswaram. His father was a fisherman and his mother was a housewife. His parents were Tamil Muslims. Since his family was poor, Kalam had to work early in life to supplement the family income. He used to deliver newspapers early in the morning to earn money. His elementary education was in his hometown Later he did his studies in Trichy where he graduated in physics and then joined MIT for a degree in aerospace engineering. Even form a young age he was honest and hardworking, the very qualities that would catapult him in life.He wanted to become a pilot with the Indian Air force but he could not pass the examination.

After Graduation 

After his graduation from MIT, his skills were absorbed in Defence Research organization (DRDO) where his job was to design helicopters for the army. But he was not happy with his job there. Later he moved to the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) where his life would change forever. He had the opportunity to work under the famed space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Kalam was part of the first SLV that was launched from India. He fell in love with the concept of rockets. He expanded the scope of ISRO and provided employment to a lot of budding engineers. He was the key person of the advanced missile program and developed the missiles like Agni and Prithvi. Today he is the nation’s top nuclear scientist.

First Leader 

Kalam was fondly known as the people’s president. He won the presidential elections in 2002. He was the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapathi Bhavan. He won his opponent by a large margin. His term was peppered with moderate successes in governance and criticisms to a certain extent. He wanted justice as a whole for the nation and delayed to act on mercy plea submitted by criminals. he was one of those rare leaders who was genuinely concerned about his people. After his term, there was much speculation about Kalam wanting to contest a second term for presidency but reports later confirmed that he was not ready for a second term. The political atmosphere at that time was not conducive for Kalam. He is the third president who has received the country’s highest honor, the Bharat Ratna award.


Published works 

Kalam has published a lot of works in English and Tamil. Most of his works are around nuclear science. Famous books written by him are India 2020 (which talks about his vision of the youth of India by the year 2020 and Ignited minds. Wings of Fire is an autobiography done on Kalam which captures every important event in his life. There have been several biographies done on the life and work of Kalam. In addition to this, Kalam’s life has been captured as a documentary too.

Well Deserved Honors 

Apart from receiving all the highest honors of the Government of India, Kalam has been awarded the many awards from around the world.

He has received honorary doctorate from 40 universities.Some of them are:

Nanyang University, Singapore
University of Wolverhampton, UK
Oakland University
University of Waterloo
Simon Fraser University

Medals:

Hoover Medal (USA)
King Charles II Medal (UK)

As he closely associates himself with youngsters motivating and guiding them, his 79th birthday has been announced by UNESCO as the World Students Day.


A true role model 

Abdul Kalam was a man of integrity who knew the value of hard work even from an young age. His status did not deter him from achieving what he wanted. His failures translated into success so huge that nobody remembered his failures anymore. He was grounded and simple. His intentions were true and good and he was not afraid to voice his concerns. He fought against corruption at various levels through the support of youth. Had he wanted to become the president a second time, he surely would have been. He had that kind momentum going for him. He was a man of simple interests. He loved playing the veena and enjoyed writing in Tamil, his mother tongue. He is one of those persons who remembers his origin no matter how high life takes him. India is honored to have seen a leader like him who had the courage to stand for what he truly believed in.Bottom of Form

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