“Dreams is not what you see in sleep, is the thing which doesn’t let you sleep” an impressive quote that fascinates me to write a brief note about Dr. APJ. Abdul Kalam, who passed away last month on 27th July 2015. He is one of the top scientists in India, a sharp thinker, a youth iconic personality. We all know him for his simplicity, intelligence, love for children, and his contributions in the field of science & technology.
In fact, he came from a poor family background and started earning at an early age to supplement his family’s income by sell newspapers at the age of eight. During his college he could not able to pay the fees and his sister mortgaged her gold bangles, to get the money for paying admission fees. After his successful studies, he joined at Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), as a scientist. Then, he became an 11th President of India.
He received many honor from the Government of India with the Padma Bhushanin (1981) and the Padma Vibhushanin (1990) for his work with Indian space research organization and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government. APJ. Abdul Kalam has received India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, for his immensely precious contribution to the scientific research and modernization of defense technology in India. In 2003 and in 2006 he was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award. His Excellency made surprising the entire world, for instance, he was recognized by Switzerland government for his scientific prowess. The day he visited Switzerland was commemorated at the Science Day in the country. He visited many different countries, including South Korea and he address South Korean parliament in Seoul on Feb 2006.
The former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam addressing the South Korean Parliament in Seoul on February 8, 2006.
He released four important books -"Wings of Fire", "My journey", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India" has become a household name in India and as well as abroad and has been translated into 13 languages including French and Chinese.
He wanted all the time to serve as a teacher and he insisted students to follow and repeat the three important words: perseverance, hard work and patience. Whenever he finds free time he spend with students, he focused not only in college level students but also from elementary school children. He surprises everyone during his interaction and he respect everyone who are all around.
Two real incidents will tell you the story behind his humanity & simplicity. 1) He visited as a guest of honor at IIT Varanasi for a degree convocation, when he enters into convocation stage, he noticed that his chair was larger to those of the other dignitaries. He is not happy and he offered a similar one, just like the others. He continued after replacement and his intention is not be a superior personality at any point of time. 2) Also, he cares every team members beyond his hardworking schedule. More than 70 scientists were working on a very hectic project. One fine day, on a tight work schedule at office, one scientist obligated a promise with his kids that he would take them to the local exhibition after returning from work, the scientist had also received the prior permission from his boss, Dr. Kalam to leave the office bit early. The colleague was so engrossed in his work. As usual he got involved to his work and he looked at his watch, the time was 8.30 PM, suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children. On rushing back home, children were not there and his wife was sitting alone in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive, any talk would boomerang on him. His wife asked him would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry. The man replied if you would like to have coffee, I too will have but what about children? Wife replied you don’t know? Dr. Kalam came here at 5.15 PM and has taken the children to the exhibition. This incident explains his personal relation with his team members with a deep understanding without affecting regular official work.
Finally, on the evening of 27th July 2015, Kalam collapsed at around 18:30, while delivering a lecture on “The Livable Planet Earth” at the IIM, Shillong. He was rushed to Bethania Hospital in a critical condition and was placed in the intensive care unit, but was confirmed dead of a massive cardiac arrest.
United Nations decided to mark the importance of India’s former President and great scientist APJ Abdul Kalam and declared his birthday, October 15as ‘World Students Day’.