A Tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam


India is in mourning as she has lost one of her most dedicated sons and a highly qualified statesman on the evening of Monday, July 27. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam or more popularly known as APJ Abdul Kalam has left behind a legacy of self-confidence and determination. APJ Abdul Kalam is one of the most influential personalities of India. This former ‘People’s President’ is a lot more than just a political figure. He is a scientist, thinker and a youth icon. His success story is known by many and has inspired Indians all over and will continue to do so. He dreamt that despite India’s shortcomings and ailing poverty, India could stand up face-to-face with the rest of world powers, be it in the terms of development, science and technology, education or any other field. 
He was a man of astute scientific knowledge. He will be remembered for his simplicity, humility and inspiring words His life is an inspiration to all those who believe in simple living and high thinking. 
He died doing what he had been doing throughout his career — sharing knowledge. 
Personally I don’t know much about Abdul Kalam, hence I have taken help from the data found over the internet to compile this list.

1. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was an Indian scientist and was India's President from 2002 to 2007. Abdul Kalam with his flowing grey hair is seen, as being at odds with what Indians thought a president ought to look like, was one amongst the most respected people of the country. He became the first scientist and first ever bachelor to occupy the Rastrapati Bhawan. Popularly called the "Missile Man" of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam rose from humble beginnings and earned the reputation of being the "people's President" who endeared himself to all sections, especially the young.

He was known as the father of Indian Missile Technology and India's lifelong scientist for his prominent role in India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests. His contribution to the ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology earned him the named as the "Missile Man of India, He was acknowledged as the driving force behind India's quest for cutting-edge defense technologies, Kalam's contributions to India's satellite programmes, guided and ballistic missiles project, nuclear weapons programme and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project made him a household name.




2. Before his term as the President of India, he worked as an Aerospace Engineer with DRDO and ISRO.

Kalam joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist. His first achievement in his career was designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, though he remained unconvinced and dissatisfied with the choice of his job at DRDO.
He had spent 40-years of his life serving DRDO and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
He was later transferred to ISRO in the year 1969 where he worked under Vikram Sarabhai, who is known as the father of India’s space programme. Sarabhi played a key role in the establishment of ISRO.
Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna, a prominent Indian physicist to become a part of the country's first nuclear test, "Smiling Buddha" as a representative of Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL).
He was also chief executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), where he was involved in developing many missiles of India including “Agni” and “Prithvi”.
He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Defense Minister and Secretary, Department of Defense Research & Development (July 1992 to December 1999). Pokhran-2 nuclear tests were conducted under his leadership.


3. Childhood


 A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to Jainulabdeen, a boat owner, and Ashiamma, a housewife, in Tamil Nadu. He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to support his family financially. He used to distribute newspapers to financially contribute to his father's income. His father was a devout Muslim who used to rent out boats to local fishermen and was also good friend of Hindu religious leaders and the school teachers at Rameshwaram.

He used to get average grades in his school days, but his strong desire to learn; especially mathematics made him what he is today. He used to get up at 4 am, bathe, and then go for his mathematics class, which was taught by a teacher who took only five students in the whole session; and bathing before class was a condition he had laid to all his students.

At the time of admission into MIT (Madras Institute of Technology), he did not have the money to pay thousand rupees as fee; his father could not afford that amount of money. His sister mortgaged her gold bangles, to get the money for admission.



4. Dr. Abdul Kalam was also an incredible writer and his autobiography; "2020-A vision for the New Millennium" is a self explanatory evidence of it.
A few more important writings of Dr Kalam are: Envisioning an Empowered Nation, Ignited Minds, My Journey, Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology, The Luminous Sparks, The Life Tree, Mission India, Children Ask Kalam, Indomitable Spirit, Inspiring Thoughts and Wings of Fire which aims at motivating Indian youth. “Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life” reveals his spiritual side. He is also a poet. He has written some poems in Tamil also
Dr. Kalam is a scholar of Thirukkural (a classic of couplets or Kurals). In most of his speeches, he quotes at least one kural.

Kalam has authored around 15 books on various subjects ranging from nuclear physics to spiritual experiences.




5. The awards and honors

The Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO 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. On Wednesday April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service. He has also received honorary doctorates from more than 30 universities, including the Carnegie Mellon University of United States. He was also the recipient of Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1997, Veer Savarkar Award in 1998, Ramanujan Award in 2000 and an Honorary Doctorate of Science by University of Wolverhampton, UK in 2007.



6. Technology


He believed in multiple uses of technology. He used the light weight carbon-compound material designed for Agni to make calipers for the polio affected. This carbon composite material reduced the weight of the calipers to 400 grams (from its original weight of 4kgs.) 6) in 1998, he along with cardiologist Dr Soma Raju developed a low-cost coronary stent. It was later named 'Kalam-Raju Stent' honoring them. Kalam was quoted as saying that like most of the technology he spearheaded, was "Made in India".



7. Part of an inspirational film

I Am Kalam which was released in 2011 is an inspirational Hindi film. Here Kalam is portrayed as an extremely positive influence to a poor but bright Rajasthani boy Chhotu, who renames himself Kalam in honour of his idol. . Kalam's life also inspired I Am Kalam, a 2011 Hindi film directed by Nila Madhab Panda. 



8. Kalam was a part of country’s first nuclear test

Kalam without participating in its development, test site preparation and weapon designing was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the country’s first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as the representative of TBRL.



9. Mr. Kalam took great care of his colleagues
A co worker had promised his kids that he would take them to the local carnival after returning from work, the co-worker had also obtained the prior permission of Mr. Kalam to leave early. The colleague was so engrossed in his work that it was well into the evening when he realized that he had made a promise to his kids. On rushing back home, he came to know through his wife that Mr. Kalam had come earlier and taken his kids to the carnival. 

10. A global Icon
The former president who was simplicity personified, was even recognized by Switzerland government for his scientific prowess. The day he visited Switzerland was commemorated as Science Day in the country.



 Image and content source : Google




Tinu Menachery

Tinu Menachery is a restless soul. She loves trying new things that don't involve water, as her hydrophobic self is yet to overcome her fear. She loves talking, and can speak for hours together. Drop a mail, if you want her to talk about a particular topic. We all have 'blank mind' days don't we?

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