APJ Abdul Kalam, the ‘Missile Man’ who opened the doors of ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ for the common people and crafted a political idiom that connected the youth of the country with the political class by his kindness, humility and unstinted love for the youngsters of the country.
On this day, Dr. Kalam breathed his two years ago, i.e.,., on 27th of July, 2015. Dr. Kalam had died after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during a lecture at the IIM, Shillong. Dr. Kalam who collapsed at around 6:30 PM, was taken to the ICU of Bethany Hospital and was declared dead two hours after he was brought to the hospital.
Here are few rare must read stories on the life and times of APJ Abdul Kalam which will surely deepen the respect you have for the ‘Missile Man.’
- Kalam breathed his last among the people he loved the most – Students.
Dr. Kalam lived the life of his dreams, he lived every moment with such grace and happily that his life inspired millions of life all over the world. While Dr. Kalam lived his life the best way he can, he also breathed his last just like he would have always dreamt. Dr. Kalam was at the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management (RG-IIM) in Shillong where he was to deliver a lecture on Sustainable Development to the students who were waiting with bated breath. But the unexpected happened at 6:30 PM, when Dr. Kalam had just clicked past the first two slides, he collapsed, after about two hours it was declared that India’s most loved President was no more.
- It is easy to get the youth to dream, as they have lesser biases about society
It was a well-known fact that Dr. Kalam loved spending time with youngsters. Dr. Kalam believed that the youngsters of any country if given the right direction would change the face of the nation, and it was evident by his actions too. Even at the age of 83, Kalam chose to spend time with students to inspire them to take up the right path in life. Dr. Kalam’s love for youngsters of the country was clear from his own words, “Tommorrow if I address a group of youngsters and talk about the flag flying in my heart and how I will uphold the dignity of the nation, I can get them to dream. But if I talk to people who are 40, 50 or 70 plus, it will not go down that well. Also, the youth have fewer biases about their society as compared to the grown-ups.”
- A common paper seller to Missile Man to People’s President, Dr. Kalam made people drove people to think
Kalam who used to sell newspapers during his childhood played an instrumental role in laying the foundation of the rocket launch systems at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) during the two decades that Kalam spent at ISRO between 1960’s to 1980’s.
Kalam’s inspirational journey did not stop here; he was later elected as the President of India, following which he became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan who connected with masses, particularly the youth, who connected with him through the internet. Dr. Kalam used the internet effectively to connect with the masses and inspired them to dream big and work hard to achieve those dreams.
- Kalam started his career with cattle shed, and with some cycling help from his colleague
Dr. Kalam was one among the few young scientists who were handpicked by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai who was widely regarded as the ‘Father of India’s Space Programme.’ These few young talented scientists were sent to the US for the training of ‘sounding rockets’ at the National Aeronautics Space Agency in the USA.
When Dr. Kalam reached Thumba in 1964, he had very little to fall back on and Dr. Kalam adjusted to the new changes without complaining about anything. This legend adjusted his self because of the vision he had for India; he wanted to make the country self-reliant in space technology.
It is interesting to note that, when Dr. Kalam returned to Thumba, he converted a rather shabby cattle shed into a laboratory to work on sounding rockets. He also used the cycle of his colleague to bring the rocket and missile equipment to the laboratory.
It is true that we as a country can never forget the contribution made by Dr. Kalam in changing the attitudes of youngsters of the country and many of his followers all over the world. Even though Dr. Kalam is no more amongst us, his dream, his ideas and his vision for the nation are still alive and inspiring lakhs of youngsters of this great nation.
Read more of his unheard stories here: