“Difficulties are part of life they are there to prepare you increase you and develop you.” – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
1. Both nationally and internationally Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was awarded honorary doctorates from over 40 universities.
His contribution in science and technology and commitment in public sphere remains unparalelled .
2. Apart from being recognised as a distinguished scientist he loved poetry especially in the Tamil language. He had a taste in music and used to spare some time to play Veena.
3. The Swiss government dedicated his visit to Switzerland as “Science Day” , the day was marked after his demise and is celebrated to this day.
In 2015 the United Nations declared his birthday As World students’ day.
4. Kalam’s father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and an Imam of a local mosque, 10-year-old boy Kalam began as a newspaper boy.
5. Dr Kalam aspired to become a fighter pilot for the Indian Air force which he, unfortunately, missed. he was ranked ninth while there were only eight positions vacant for the post.
6. There was a time when Dr Kalam was worried about the dysfunctional state of the supreme institution, the parliament of India.
He said, “I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that, this disruption just keeps happening, it is not right, I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics.”
7. Dream! Dream! Dream! His encouraging personality had him a loving title of “Kalam chacha” or “Uncle Kalam”. As the President of India, he was on a mission to meet the young minds of this country, as many as possible. During his five year tenure, he met a record-breaking 5 MILLION Youths from across the country. He would receive hundreds of emails per day from young people who were inspired, it is reported that he replied personally to nearly All the emails.
8. As a promoter of religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue, Kalam said,“for great men, religion is a way of making friends, small people make religion a fighting tool.”
9. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam dedicated his book “Ignited minds” to a 12th standard girl Snehal Thakkar. The girl impressed Sir Kalam with her response to poverty. She was even invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan personally by him at his “swearing-in” ceremony.
10. Kalam wanted to abolish the death penalty from the Indian judiciary.
he mentioned that he felt pain as the President, where he was asked to decide the mercy petitions of death convicts.
11. A newly discovered organism at the International space station in 2017 was named after APJ Abdul Kalam – Solibacillus Kalami.
12. He breathed his last doing what he loved. He was an exceptional educator, ‘he was educating” when death arrived.
At IIM Shillong while delivering a speech to hundreds of students he suffered a cardiac arrest and fell to the floor.
Today we must remember the immense contribution Dr APJ Abdul Kalam made in whatever field he stepped into, and we must learn from his unmatched example of dedication and perseverance.
He often said that to win over the various challenges our country faces everyday, “dialogue and cooperation” among the people is the utmost requirement. People from all walks of life and across all backgrounds, religious, social and political.