NEW DELHI: The nation on Friday paid homage to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who is fondly remembered as the ‘People’s President’ and the ‘Missile Man of India’ on his third death anniversary.
Born on October 15, 1931, in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, Dr APJ Kalam served as the 11th President of India between 2002 and 2007. Kalam, who had penned several books and inspired millions through his philosophy of ‘simple living and high thinking’, died due to a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Shillong on July 27, 2015.
As an eminent scientist, educationist, author, visionary, philanthropist and orator, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam donned several hats in his life. Fondly known as the ‘missile man’, he played a crucial role in the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He was also associated with India’s space program and missile development program.
After serving his full term as the President, Kalam did what he loved the most till he breathed his last – teaching.
In the honour of the late scientist and ‘People’s President’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu last year.
He was honoured with several prestigious awards including India’s highest civilian honour “Bharat Ratna” in 1997.
He was very popular among the children and the country’s youth and inspired them to think big in life. He also penned nearly 25 books, including India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India, Mission of India: A Vision of Indian Youth.
Here are some of his most inspiring quotes
-“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”
-“Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.”
-“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.”
-“If you fail, never give up because FAIL means “First Attempt In Learning”.
-Creativity is seeing the same thing but thinking differently
-“If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.”
-“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
-“All of us do not have equal talent. But , all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”
-Kalam gave away his salary to charity: Dr Kalam donated his entire salaries and savings to a charitable trust – PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas) – he had founded. He argued that after becoming the President of India, the government will take care of him till his death, so why not use his salary for better things.
-The story of his cobbler in Thiruvananthapuram: During an official visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kalam took out time to meet his old cobbler, George. The two would often chat while the cobbler repaired his shoes.
-Distributed newspapers after school: Young Kalam would distribute newspapers after his school hours to add to his father’s income and support his poor family.
-A man of little things: Dr Kalam led a simple lifestyle. He never owned a television. His few personal possessions included books, veena, few clothes, CD player and a laptop. At the time of his death, he left no will and all his possessions went to his older brother.
-Powering Rashtrapati Bhavan with solar energy: Dr Kalam tried to power the entire Rashtrapati Bhavan with solar energy. Unfortunately, his proposal could not be fully implemented before his term ended.